Basel, Switzerland:AC Milan, five-times European champions, take on the holders and nine-times winners Real Madrid in the opening match in Group C of the UEFA Champions League second group stage. It has been an interesting weekend of sorts for Real Madrid especially after all the high drama surrounding Luis Figo during their encounter with Barcelona. Real though have quite a few injury worries with Fernando Hierro, Makelele and Ronaldo out. But Zinedine Zidane will be back after missing the weekend trip to Catalonia. Milan on the other hand are on their way back after few years in oblivion. But the fact that they accounted for 2001 Champions Bayern Munich in the first stage will mean Real will not take them for granted. Manchester United travel to the picturesque Swiss town of Basle without six first-team players including veteran defender Laurent Blanc. It had a been a season of ups and down so far for the Red Devils but on Saturday all talk of any sort of crisis at Old Trafford was put to rest as United hammered the living daylights out of Newcastle United with Ruud Van Nistelrooy hitting his second hat trick for United along with racking up 50 goals for the Club. "We are going to try to score, there is no doubt about that. Also, we are going to, hopefully, by recognising Basel's strength, counter that. It won't be an easy game for us, but it won't be an easy game for Basel either," said Sir Alex Ferguson, Manager, Manchester United. FC Basel is the first Swiss club to reach the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League and United can't afford to take them lightly. Basle have already accounted for two British Clubs on their way in the form of Glasgow Celtic & Liverpool.
Topics : Football