The giants of Real Madrid are an intimidating force in Europe, they’ve got a history in that justifies their claims as the biggest team in the world and they’ve got the current players and manager to defeat any side they come up against. A lot of people have already laughed off a United chance of winning against the Spanish Champions, but I’m not so keen to rule out the Red Devils.
With the current situation at Madrid being that Mourinho is falling out with his players, a backroom dispute is just the sort of thing United can benefit from, players rebelling against the manager is never good, but when you have an egomaniac like Mourinho battling it out with players like Casillas, a team favourite which will result in other players following the Spanish goal keeper in rebellion will not help team to have that flowing, winning mentality if their captain is in a dispute with the Madrid are currently suffering immensely in their own league, they are a whopping 16 points behind Barcelona, and 4 points behind Atletico, they’re leaking goals all over the shot, with their most recent league game being a 4-1 home win against Sevilla. With the title all but lost already, most people expect Real to go all out in the champions league as a last gasp claim for glory this season, to savour the embarrassment they’ve already suffered.
I’m not so certain they will do so, mainly because of the run of games they have surrounding the Champions League bout with United. Just this weekend, Real played Sevilla in a very testing match which they won 4-1, games like this supply points they cannot afford to lose and had to play almost full strength squad to win. With the players they have Madrid can rotate easily enough, but recently players are being dropped, first team players like Ramos and Casillas are just a few of the big names to fall under the chop. The second tie that will cause Real problems prior to the United away leg is as tough as it gets, just 3 days before they grace Old Trafford they face off at home to Barcelona. A must win game for Real Madrid whatever the situation, no less than a full strength squad is required for that match for Real and with United just 3 days away, if the first leg was a result such as a 2-1 win for Real or a draw, United will be hugely confident to play a very a tired, possibly emotionally drained Madrid if they lose to Barcelona, Real in front of the United faithful.
With the prematch press conferences looming I’m sure if the problems continue, an unsettling word from Sir Alex in a classic mind game fashion will be placed adding more to the pressure building between two colossal forces.
In terms of actual football and not back door rumours, Manchester United will play a classic counter attacking football they have a pattern of utilising in Europe or big away games in the premier league. It’ll be a similar style to the way United played away to City earlier in the season, letting city control the game but not be effective with chances, then on the counter play incredibly fast moves with devastating results especially now with the attack United have and the goal scoring capabilities they possess.
Although many seem to think United will lose this game to Real Madrid and I cannot guarantee that United will win this one, its a long shot of course, but one thing I can guarantee is that it will be an absolute classic. One of the biggest clubs in the world taking on another one of the worlds largest will be a game to remember, its been a long time since one of Europe’s greats have made way to Old Trafford, I fully expect the Stretford end to be in full voice and the players on the pitch to offer a spectacle like no other.
By Elliot Lewis