Real Madrid vs. Manchester United: Bold Goal-Scorer Predictions for UCL Clash

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 13, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Nani of Manchester United celebrates his goal with Anderson (L) during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Both Real Madrid and Manchester United will be expected to find the back of the net in their Champions League clash this week given their attacking talent on hand.

The home side boast the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil, whilst the visitors have Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in their midst.

Madrid have netted 58 goals domestically this season at an average of 2.51 per game; that number drops slightly to 2.38 for United so far this year—yet both are still incredible averages that should subsequently produce a host of goals throughout this Champions League clash.

And whilst it might be easy to pick the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo and van Persie to find the scoresheet, the trio might not necessarily dominate proceedings as we all expect. In fact, there may very well be an outsider who puts the ball into the back of the net here and instantly becomes the hero.

Here's some bold predictions to grab a goal in this Champions League match.


Patrice Evra, Manchester United

Defender Patrice Evra isn't the most potent goal-scoring threat in United's team—largely because he's a defender—but has shown a keen eye for goal this year.

The French international has chimed in on corners and free kicks into the box to nab himself four goals in the Premier League this season. Perhaps what's most remarkable about that is that it's the most scored by a United player this year that isn't a striker on the team—and it's coming from left-back.

Evra might not get many chances in front of goal here, but he cannot be counted out in terms of getting himself onto the scoresheet, particularly given how strong the Red Devils have been from set pieces throughout the year.


Nani, Manchester United

Part of the reason behind Nani being such an outside chance is the very real likelihood that the Portuguese international won't even play in this one.

He has been largely inconsistent throughout the season and United do have to find a place to field Japanese star Shinji Kagawa—meaning that Nani may very well find himself on the bench for this one. 

Yet even if he makes the bench, the thought of Nani finding the back of the net here isn't really out of the question at all given his habit for netting big goals. The winger netted in United's 3-2 loss to Tottenham as well as their 5-4 loss to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup—both of which almost pulled the Red Devils back into contention for the match.

He has proven throughout his time at Old Trafford that he can chime in with a big goal—Community Shield in stoppage time springing to mind immediately—and he could well do the same here with an opportunistic finish against Real Madrid.

Especially, if Ferguson is looking to shake things up a bit.


Raphael Varane, Real Madrid 

The youngster would be a bold gamble for Jose Mourinho to make at centre-back, but given his performance in their recent Copa del Rey match, it could well happen.

Varane showed a prestigious talent in that game, and with Pepe's uncertainty at the back given his aggression and controversy, Mourinho could look to Varane here with a starting berth—which brings him into play in terms of the goals scored.

Especially, if he's pushed further up the pitch as the Spanish club look for the winning goal or the goal to kill off United's chances in the second leg.


Who do you think could find the back of the net in this one?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: