MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Phil Jones and Shinji Kagawa all start for Manchester United, while Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo are amongst the starters for Real Madrid in today’s Champions League clash.
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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has shockingly decided to leave out winger Antonio Valencia from the starting team in what looks like a 4-2-3-1 formation that also includes Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick.
The other surprise is the absence of captain Nemanja Vidic, as Ferguson opted to go with Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans at center back.
In fact, the Serbian is not even on the Manchester United bench.
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Real Madrid in the meantime, has recalled Xabi Alonso, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil for the contest, while Varane is in defense and Karim Benzema partners Ronaldo.
Sami Khedira is also in midfield and he’s expected to pick up Kagawa.
At the other end, it is believed that Phil Jones has been deployed to man-mark Ronaldo.
Real Madrid v Manchester United Starting Teams
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Subs: Adan, Pepe, Kaka, Carvalho, Essien, Modric, Higuain.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Jones, Carrick; Welbeck, Kagawa, Rooney; Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Cleverley.