MAN UTD HAVE A SCORE TO SETTLE – BUT SO DOES BECKHAM
By Football Talk.
The Champions League has returned and Manchester United travel to the San Siro to play AC Milan in the first leg of their last 16 clash.
Manchester United are aiming to reach a third successive final but European opposition doesn’t come much bigger than AC Milan. The two clubs have won the competition 10 times between them so this really is a battle of two European heavyweights.
Much of the pre-match talk has been about the return of David Beckham to play against his former club since leaving United in 2003. Becks left in controversial circumstances following a serious changing room bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson which left him needing several stitches to a cut above the eye. Despite this, Beckham says the Manchester United manager was ‘like a father figure’ to him and there is no score to settle.
The Beckham return is an interesting sub-plot to what should be an epic encounter. United don’t have a great record at the San Siro, losing on their last four visits, the latest defeat came in 2007 when AC Milan won 3-0 to book their place in the final. So Sir Alex Ferguson may feel he has a score to settle.
However, the fortunes of both clubs have changed significantly since then with AC Milan failing to win any of their home games during this years group stages while Manchester United haven’t lost an away game since that defeat in 2007.
David Beckham is likely to start on the bench for AC Milan with Brazilian Alexander Pato taking his place. Defender Gianluca Zambrotta is available following a one-match suspension while Mancini and Dominic Adiyiah are both ineligible.
Ronaldinho is expected to start up front and could be joined by Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar after the Dutchman scored twice at the weekend. Milan have doubts over Thiago Silva and Marco Borriello.
Manchester United will be without Nemanja Vidic who has still not recovered from a nerve injury. Rio Ferdinand is expected to be partnered by either Wes Brown or Jonny Evans at the back.
Ryan Giggs misses out with a fractured arm and joins John O’Shea and Own Hargreaves on the sidelines. Brazilian midfielder Anderson has not travelled with the squad.
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