On February 13, 2013, Manchester United will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu as the Red Devils prepare to lock horns with Jose Mourinho’s struggling but talented Real Madrid, in the first-leg of their pre-quarterfinals clash in the Champions League.

In order to return home with a positive result, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will need to chose an inch-perfect starting XI.

Hence, here are three players that the Scot should avoid using against Los Blancos.

Paul Scholes

He might still be one of the best passers of the ball in Europe, Paul Scholes lacks the legs to come up against the pacey Real Madrid team.

Only this season, when Tottenham Hotspurs defeated United at Old Trafford, Moussa Dembele’s speed tormented the former England international and hence, with the likes of Mesut Oezil and Angel Di Maria blessed with lethal pace and the notorious habit of directly running at the opposition players, starting Scholes might just not be the ideal option for the Red Devils.

Youngsters Tom Cleverley and Anderson are more than capable of providing the lacking energy to the United play and Fergie will do well by utilizing either of the two against Madrid.

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs possesses the similar problem as Scholes- lack of liveliness and energy.

Even though the Welshman will provide Ferguson with a multitude of options due to his versatility and United could be even tempted to give Giggs some playing time due to the inconsistency of their wingers, the veteran’s depleting speed will make him a massive liability for the visitors.

Ferguson might prefer experienced stars in big games but Giggs cannot provide the required goods anymore and honestly, I don’t even really see the 39-year-old getting even a single minute on the pitch against Madrid.  

Rafael Da Silva

Despite the fact that he is evolving into one of the most promising wing-backs in the Premier League, Rafael Da Silva is still a poor persona on the defensive front. 

On Wednesday, the Brazilian will be up against none other than the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo and in all fairness, Rafael is bound to have a hard time battling the Portuguese star on United’s right wing.

Chris Smalling is an able deputy for the right-back slot and although he might not be as much as an attacking force as Rafael, the England international is much more a reliable option when it comes to protecting the team’s goal.


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