Spain

Real Madrid v Man United

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Pepe: Back from injury

Pepe: Back from injury

Real Madrid resume their quest for a 10th European Cup as they welcome Manchester United to the Bernabeu for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

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This mouth-watering clash comes as a result of the Premier League leaders' finishing top of their group, while Madrid could only manage a second-placed finish in their group.

Los Blancos boast a formidable home record, having gone unbeaten in 33 matches since losing to Barcelona in 2011, while United will be hoping to improve on their poor record on Spanish soil where they have won just twice in 20 attempts.

Real boss Jose Mourinho also has the upper hand in his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson, with the former Chelsea manager emerging victorious on six occasions in the 14 matches they have contested over the years, while the Scot has come out on top just twice.

Cristiano Ronaldo is well and truly back among the goals for the Spanish giants after scoring his 20th Madrid hat-trick in their 4-1 victory over Sevilla on Saturday.

For the Red Devils, Robin van Persie has been in scintillating form since his arrival in the off-season, and he notched up his 19th Premier League goal of the campaign in the 2-0 win against Everton on Sunday.

In team news, Pepe is available for the hosts after recovering from an ankle injury, meaning Mourinho can select his first-choice centre-back alongside Sergio Ramos.

The only definite absentee for Madrid is captain Iker Casillas, who broke his thumb in a match against Valencia.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has a full-strength squad to choose from, with Johnny Evans and Phil Jones expected to recover from minor knocks in time to feature.

Posted: 12/02/13 12:41

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