Who will start at centerback for United?
Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have all staked claims as to why they should start tonight. United’s defensive display on Sunday was impressive, with many fans happy to see United lining up the same way against Madrid. But can United afford to leave a player of Ferdinand’s quality and experience out ?
The Ferdinand/Vidic partnership has been a reliable one for years and Sir Alex will be tempted to go with it in order to snuff out the threat Real pose.
Who Will Lead The Line For Real Madrid?
Ronaldo is stealing all of the spotlight, but in Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema Real Madrid have a deadly strike force and United’s defender will need to have their wits about them. Benzema has previous against United scoring for Lyon in 2008 as United went on to win the competition.
Benzema has 13 goals to Higuain’s 8 this season, but both are equally dangerous. I think I’d prefer if Jose went with the Argentine if I’m honest.
How big a miss will Iker Casillas be?
Manchester United can take heart from the fact that talismanic goalkeeper Iker Casillas will be missing, having broken his thumb a few weeks ago. The Spaniard has been a staple for Real in goal since making his debut in 1999, but his absence will see Mourinho having to resort to using either Antonio Adan or Diego Lopez.
Neither are anywhere near the level of Casillas, so United will look to take advantage of this. Expect some long rangers early on to test their nerves.
Manchester United’s Mr. Versatile has done a good job in keeping the likes of Gareth Bale and Marouane Fellaini quiet in recent weeks, but faces an altogether different task in shutting down Cristiano Ronaldo.
There was slight panic when it appeared he could be injured for the tie, showing that United fans wouldn’t mind seeing him try his hand at keeping the former United star quiet.
But there is a massive difference between trying and actually doing.
Regardless of the role he is employed in (if he does in fact start), he will need to be on top of his game.
Is Kagawa the key?
The Japanese midfielder has been his own biggest critic this season, but has put in some promising appearances recently. As seen at Borussia Dortmund, Kagawa can unlock defences with key passes and poses a goal threat too. He will help keep the ball in tight spaces and under pressure and could be key to the counter attacking football United are likely to play.
Can he help United unlock Real Madrid?