The first leg of the UEFA Champions League Knockout Stages kicks off Tuesday at 2:45 PM EST as Manchester United (currently 2nd in the English Premier League) travels to Milan to take on AC Milan (currently 3rd in Italian Serie A).
The major storyline in this game (aside from two European giants squaring off) is David Beckham playing against Manchester United for the first time since leaving the club in 2003. Beckham spent 8 years with United before leaving for Real Madrid and has yet to suit up against his former club. United Manger Sir Alex Ferguson is not concerned by the reunion, but certainly isn't taking the Milan side lightly:
Beckham left seven years ago. We move on in life: it's a different team, we have different players. I think we've developed a kind of maturity away from home in the last two years since we last met Milan. We've changed, especially from a physical point of view. This time we are more in shape.
Milan are an experienced team and we know they have wonderful players – many of them have won this trophy. Think about Seedorf; he has such experience and that's something you cannot buy. I watched the Milan derby and I saw a very good team that night. Milan have experience and in big games they give their best, so you have to be cautious. It's true that English football has dominated the last few years, but it's like a cycle: there was the Spanish era, the Italian era and so on.
Milan has won the four previous times the clubs have played in the two leg format, with the latest match during the 2006-2007 Champions League Semifinal. You can follow the match live at UEFA's MatchCentre and we'll have updates on the match as it progresses.
For more on Manchester United, check out SB Nation's brand new Man U blog, The Busby Babe.