Date: 5th March 2013 at 12:04pm
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Manchester United vs Real Madrid

David De Gea: After his heroics at the Bernabeu, De Gea is an automatic pick. He will need a similar level of performance though, as Real pose a serious offensive threat.

Rafael: Was given a tough time in Spain as Real Madrid made a concerted effort to target him in the first half, but he bounced back in the second and hasn’t let it affect his performances following, continuing to impress especially against QPR.

Rio Ferdinand: Was rested over the weekend meaning he will be fresh for the tie. His reading of the game, positioning and abilities of recovery may be key tonight considering the advantages in speed Real’s front line have.

Jonny Evans: This is a tricky pick as it is believed that Evans may be slightly less than 100% considering he did some light training away from the rest of the team during yesterday’s open session. The fact Vidic isn’t able to play two games in a row yet also means that Evans gets the nod.

Patrice Evra: An automatic pick as he can get forward and defend just as well. Will need to be 100% focused defensively as Real’s wide threat could be the undoing of our efforts to progress into the next round.

Michael Carrick: Another automatic pick, will need to help us maintain someĀ semblanceĀ of control in the middle of the park. His defensive duties will be key in front of the central defensive pair and has the passing range to turn defence into offence.

Tom Cleverley: Has the energy to disturb Real’s midfield in the absence of Jones even if he can’t do the defensive job that Jones would have, but provides more of an offensive threat when we do get the chance to attack.

Shinji Kagawa: Perhaps employed as the furthest forward of the 3, Kagawa’s hat trick on Saturday makes him hard to leave out. Will need to be involved more than he was in the first leg if he is to be effective as his close control and ability to retain the ball can come in handy.

Danny Welbeck: Should keep his place after his showing in Madrid. Will prove a handful for Madrid’s back line and isn’t afraid to get involved in the defensive side of the game, key against Real.

Wayne Rooney: On the opposite flank to Welbeck, Rooney will need to be much improved considering his poor showing in Spain. Needs to help out Rafael much more than he did, but goes in to the game confident after scoring an impressive goal at the weekend.

Robin Van Persie: This tie might not be as nervy if he had scored one of a number of chances that fell his way in the first leg. Hasn’t scored in 4 games, his longest run in a United shirt, and hasn’t scored at home for Manchester United in the Champions League so far this season. What better game to break that duck?


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