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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

25 Things about Manchester United vs Barcelona Champions League

There are less than 6 hours left before Manchester United hosts Barcelona in the second leg match of Champions League 2007-2008. The match is very important for both sides. As the first leg match ended in a goalless draw the importance of this match has been increased.

In the first leg match at Nou Camp, Barcelona dominated the match, where Manchester United looked a bit defensive. However, it is expected that Manchester United players will come out of the shell and make a flurry of attach tonight. Ahead of this exciting match, fans of both sides are now eagerly wating for the kick off. Here, I am giving some important things that you might find useful.

1. Manchester United vs Barcelona second leg semi final match of Champions League 2007-2008 kicks off 19:45 BST.

2. The match will take place at the Old Trafford stadium of Manchester United.

3. This mouth watering clash will be telecast live on Ten Sports and ITV1 television channel.

4. BBC Radio Five Live will also air live commentary of the match for the UK fans only.

5. Manchester United and Barcelona both have two Champions Cup/ Champions League titles to their credit.

6. Manchester United won the title of Champions League last time in 1998-1999 season. However, Barcelona just needs to go back two seasons to find inspiration from their Champions League triumph in 2005-2006 season.

7. Both the clubs got a weekend blow in domestic leagues of their respective countries. Barcelona lost to Deportivo La Coruna 0-2, while Manchester United suffered a 1-2 defeat away at Chelsea.

8. Manchester United is still active in the title race of English Premier League, while the Catalan club is placed third in the point table of La Liga this season, with 15 points behind the leader Real Madrid.

9. Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic are doubtful for the clash with Barcelona and missed out the training session on Monday. Rooney pulled up with a strain on hip against Chelsea, while Vidic took a blow to his face while battling with Didier Drogba in the same match.

10. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects both Rooney and Vidic will be available for the second leg meeting with Barcelona.

11. Manchester United defender Darren Fletcher is now aiming to get back his place in the starting line up after making his come back from a knee injury in the previous match against Chelsea.

12. Barcelona captain Carles Puyol comes back in the side after missing out the first leg encounter through suspension.

13. However, Barcelona will miss their Mexican defender Rafael Marquez for tonight’s match at Old Trafford because of his suspension.

14. Barcelona will also miss Mexican forward Giovani dos Santos for the trip to Manchester United, while Brazilian defender Edmilson comes back in the side after missing the first encounter through injury.

15. Long time absentees Ronaldinho and second goal keeper Albert Jorquera will remain sidelined due to injury. There is doubt regarding midfielder Yaya Toure who missed the training yesterday as he picked up an ankle injury against Deportivo La Coruna. However, he has been included in the 18-man squad of Barcelona for the match.

16. Barcelona forward Thierry Henry said that Manchester United would find it difficult to play against Barcelona. However, he is also concerned that Barcelona would find a different Manchester United tonight and the host side can pose threat to Barcelona.

17. Ahead of the second leg match of Champions League semi final, Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard thinks that the pressure is now on Cristiano Ronaldo indicating the missing penalty of Ronaldo in the first leg match at Barcelona.

18. Manchester United won Champions League title last time in 1998-1999 season and since then, the English club could not yet reach Champions League final. However, they have won four English Premier League titles during this period of time.

19. Barcelona is now on the third place in the point table of La Liga and has no hope to win the title of La Liga this season. So, Champions League is where they can win silverware.

20. Manchester United and Barcelona faced each other on eight occasions before this year, with both sides winning two matches each. The other four matches ended in a draw.

21. Manchester United won three out of their last seven matches in all tournaments. For home matches, Manchester United won eight out of their last ten matches at home in all competitions.

22. For Barcelona, the recent record is now satisfactory as well. They won two and lost one matches out of their last seven matches in all competition. Similarly, their away performance in last ten matches in all competitions is disastrous with losing four and winning only three matches.

23. Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful about the match and is satisfied with his team’s performance in the first leg.

24. Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard said that Barcelona would be seen more attacking in the match so that the pressure would be on the host side. Actually, if Barcelona scores an early goal in the match, no doubt, the pressure would totally be on Manchester United, because the hosts then have to score twice to get into the final.

25. Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the highest goal scorer in Champions League this season with seven goals to his\ credit. Lionel Messi is the highest scorer for Barcelona with six goals in Champions League.

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