United head to Milan to better past record

Beckham is set to play as an away team player. (AFP)

AC Milan and Manchester United will go head-to-head at the San Siro in arguably the biggest tie of the Champions League round of 16 today.

One of the main reasons for the tie's magnitude will be the return of David Beckham to Old Trafford as an away team player for the first time since he left United in 2003 to join Real Madrid.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently spoke of his concern that there would be a circus surrounding Beckham's return but that is looking slightly less likely now. The signing of Mancini from Inter Milan and Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato's return from injury have seen Beckham drop to the bench as a replacement for one of the midfield trio.

But even without 'Golden Balls', this promises to be a potential classic.

It will be the fifth time the two sides meet in the knockout stages and for the first time it is the English champions who will be heading in as favourites.

United have won three of their four home matches against Milan but have never managed to progress against the wily Italians, losing every one of their four away games.

 

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