By Russell Stoddart
Manchester United hero Sammy McIlroy argues that Real Madrid will fear the attacking combination of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney after the two giants were drawn together in the Champions League last 16.
|THE DRAW IN FULL
|Galatasaray v Schalke
Celtic v Juventus
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
Shakhtar v Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Manchester United
Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain
Porto v Malaga
First legs will be played on either February 12/13 or19/20, with the return legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.
The first tie will be played in Madrid on February 13, before the Premier League champions host their opponents on March 5, and will see Cristiano Ronaldo face his former club for the first time.
McIlroy says that the Portuguese star will fancy his chances of scoring against the team with which he won the Champions League – but that the Spanish side will also be wary of the attacking talent United possess.
“Both sides seem to have the same strengths and weaknesses at the moment,” he told Goal.com.
“I was at Old Trafford the last time these sides met when Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a high-scoring and close tie. I can see it being high scoring again and perhaps just as tight over two legs.
“The Brazilian Ronaldo scored a hat-trick that night in Manchester and Cristiano Ronaldo will fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet but don’t forget Madrid are not a one-man band.
“I would be fearful for United’s defence if the tie was next week but they will have Vidic back to his best by the time the games are played in February.
“At the other end, Madrid will be very wary of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. If anything, I think they have more of a glass jaw than United.
“I think there will be just one goal between them but it’s too close to call who will progress.
“Like all United fans, I can’t wait for the tie to come around.”