With both teams currently in top form - and both boasting impressive wins over the weekend - expectancy for the Champions League show down between Manchester United and Real Madrid will be high, and just below are a few predictions for Tuesday's match.1. CR7 will find it tougher to get going at Old Trafford:
Cristiano Ronaldo knows that a section of the Old Trafford fans are peeved with him ever since his transfer to the Spanish capital. Those fans would be keen to see him closely marked by Phil Jones, if fit, and supply to him cut off. Therefore something special must come from CR7 to upstage Fergie’s plans at the return leg.
2. United will find a much faster game in store for them:
Even though Manchester United were quick in their counter-attacks in the first-leg at the Bernabeu, at Old Trafford they might find the pace of the Spanish giants one notch faster than that at Madrid. Clearly the United backline are not at their very best. Both Vidic and Ferdinand are a bit slower than before and the pace at which Di Maria, Ronaldo, Coentrao move forward, the United defenders will have a battle on their hands. The wily Mourinho might target Ferdinand as the weak link in the opposition's defence.
3. United strikers will be a constant threat:
With the backing of Old Trafford fans at their home ground, the Rooneys and Van Persies will be spurred on to make a decisive mark in this high-voltage clash. Expect Fergie to substitute strikers in the later part of the game to get a positive result.
4. Midfield battles will be the centre piece of action:
The real battle will be played out in the midfield area where the strong physical presence of Alonso and Khedira, along with the creativity of Modric and the agility of Ozil will compete with the likes of Carrick and Valencia. Ball possession will dictate the result.
5. Expect Mourinho to make some key tactical changes to ensure the strikers other than CR7 are within the firing range. With the possibility of CR7 being double marked, Ozil might be given the responsibility of getting past the United back four to slot home.
6. Overall this return leg will be a thriller. With high energy football action and its share of yellow cards, and of course, some touchline drama from both managers.