Manchester United CAN Knockout Real Madrid

Manchester United are the team to beat in any domestic competition, they are English football’s top dogs but in Europe they sometimes find themselves carrying the unfamiliar tag of ‘underdogs’ when it comes to the latter stages.

When the Champions League last 16 ties come around next month United will definitely be seen as outsiders to qualify for the next round when they take on Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The first leg will be played in the Spanish capital and by the time the second leg comes around two weeks later it could be all over for United’s hope to capture another European crown. Sir Alex Ferguson will know how vital an away goal in The Bernabeau will be when it comes to Old Trafford but it would be a crisis to welcome Los Blancos to Manchester with his side trailing by any more than 2 goals to 1.

Jose Mourinho’s Madrid can boast the striking power of Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to gun down what has been a fragile United defence this season but despite having scored 45 goals this season the reigning La Liga champions sit 16 points behind leaders Barcelona and 5 behind city rivals Atletico.

Madrid’s poor league performances this season have left the Spanish press baying for ‘The Special One’s’ blood and poor performances in the Champions League, culminated in a 2nd placed group stage finish behind Borussia Dortmund, hasn’t eased the pressure on the Portuguese manager who is known for short spells at clubs ended with Champions League victory.

United fans, players and the manager can look to Real’s poor form this season as a weakness in a tie that has the odds heavily stacked against them but the Premier League leaders will need the 9 time winners of the European Cup to be off the boil for 180 minutes if they are to progress.


Sam Jewell