Three surprise team selections Sir Alex Ferguson could spring

Chicharito Interview

How will Manchester United line up at the Bernabeu?

Most pundits have a rough idea of how Manchester United will line-up against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

It's expected to see De Gea in goal, a defence of Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra and Rafael, Carrick in the middle with Jones if fit, Rooney, and Kagawa supporting Van Persie, with one winger/midfielder which could be Nani, Valencia, or even Giggs.

Buy Fergie likes to keep everybody guessing, and if he pulled a shock selection, it wouldn't really be a surprise as he tries to outsmart Mourinho.

Here are three selections he could spring...

Chicharito up front

An away goal is crucial tonight, and United know it. Ferguson may well elect to go all out to get one or more, landing an advantage for the home leg. One way to do this is to pick two strikers. Rooney will likely play as an attacking midfielder in any case with Scholes out, so United could double their striking potency with Hernandez partnering Van Persie. It's a risk as it could leave them open at the back as they'd lose a midfielder, but the reward is tempting.

Smalling at right-back

Rafael is expected to start, but Sir Alex hasn't always backed him in big games. A case in point was the title decider away to Manchester City last season, where the Brazilian was dropped and replaced with Phil Jones. Jones is likely to feature in midfield this time around, meaning Rafael's replacement would be Smalling, who played at centre-back at the weekend. It would probably be unfair on Rafael, but Fergie may decide that Smalling is more defensive-minded and able to cope with Real's attacks.

Cleverley in midfield

Tom Cleverley is most likely to begin this game on the bench, but could he start? It would depend on Phil Jones' injury, and where else United shuffle the pack, but he is above Anderson in the pecking order, and with Scholes out his chances have already been boosted. He has been a regular for England recently, and will be up for his big chance if it comes.

Would you like to see Ferguson do any of the above?

image: © apasciuto

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