LONDON - Manchester United came unstuck
the last two times they took on unfancied German rivals in the
Champions League semi-finals and the twice winners are wary of a
similar fate when they visit Schalke 04 in Tuesday's first leg.
Sir Alex Ferguson's team may be favourites to progress to their
third final in four years but were knocked out by Bayer
Leverkusen in 2002 having been eliminated by Borussia Dortmund
in 1997 at the same stage.
The 1999 and 2008 champions are yet to win a two-legged
knockout tie against German opposition in four attempts since
the start of the Champions League in 1992, losing in the
quarter-finals last season to Bayern Munich.
United are well aware of the goalscoring prowess of Spaniard
Raul, now at Schalke after 16 years with Real Madrid and who
scored twice at Old Trafford to send the then holders out of the
Raul is the club's top scorer with five goals in this
season's competition, while Mexican Javier Hernandez is United's
leading marksman with four.
Despite their lowly Bundesliga position of 10th compared to
United's six-point Premier League lead, Schalke are unbeaten in
their last nine European games and thrashed holders Inter Milan
in the quarter-finals.
The winner of the semi-final will play either Real or
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