Match Preview: Manchester United v AC Milan


We’ll have to see how vital the late goal scored by Clarence Seedorf turns out to be. We were crusing the match at that point and if anything we were going to be the next team to score. In fact we were lucky not to concede another goal afterwards as our defence went to pieces; there were gaping holes all over the place.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only United fan to let out a huge sigh of relief on hearing the news Wayne Rooney trained on Tuesday and is included in the squad to face AC.

Do I think we would progress to the next stage without Rooney? Yeah, I think so. Rooney is without doubt our best player but we are far from the one man team the press like to label us. The one man team jibe is an insult to the other players that have performed so well this season without the deserved recognition.

The team more or less selects itself. With the absence of Michael Carrick I think we’ll play a 4-4-2 formation with Scholes and Fletcher pairing up in the centre of midfield.

On Saturday against Wolves the return of the first choice backline was such a bonus but sadly Wes Brown has suffered another injury setback. The right back spot is a now a tough selection choice.

Does Sir Alex Ferguson go with the experience of Gary Neville or the young Brazilian Rafael? There are positives and drawbacks for each player. Rafael endured a torrid time against Ronaldinho in the first leg; he’s probably had nightmares of the match since. Gary Neville has seen it all before and I’m sure he’d love to line up against his best buddy David Beckham. The question mark hanging over Neville now is his lack of pace. Is Ronaldinho capable of another performance similar to that of the first leg away from home? Time will tell.

Personally, I’d be inclined to select Rafael. Manchester United is not a club for shrinking violets so he will have to overcome his demons from the first leg, he will have to show Ronaldinho he is not intimidated. I think Fergie has this sort of faith in his players and I feel we will see a much better performance from Rafael.

Pato also had a decent first leg. He troubled Evra with his pace and movement and came close to scoring with a couple of headed chances. Pato will be AC Milan’s biggest threat.

The first leg had the feel of win or bust for Milan so not winning would have been a real body blow. However, since the first leg, Milan have shown good form winning three matches and drawing one.

The media have built this match as the return of David Beckham and rightly so. A United legend! You can find a more in depth article on David Beckham here: A Legend Returns – David Beckham

I’m fairly confident of victory, the three away goals is massive. Milan will have to come out and attack us from the very first whistle; therefore I think the match will be very open and we’ll see plenty of chances and goals. We should play the match at a sensible high tempo which will hopefully tire an ageing Milan team.  I’d be very surprised if we failed to score on Wednesday thereby leaving AC Milan requiring to score three goals which I can’t see happening.

Prediction: On wards to Madrid, me thinks… A comfortable 3-1 victory on the night and 6-3 on aggregate.

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