Phil Jones did not take part in Manchester United's 15-minute opening training session on Monday morning ahead of Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Real Madrid, and Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed that he will not be fit enough to play. But Rio Ferdinand, who had been suffering from flu, is available for selection for the last-16 second leg.

The absence of Jones, who suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago, represents a blow, as Jones was among United's best performers in the 1-1 draw at the Bernabéu three weeks ago.

One man who will certainly play is Michael Carrick, and he acknowledges that nights like Tuesday's are the ones that really get his competitive juices flowing.

"These are the nights you live for," the midfielder said. "It is extra special. There is just something in the air. Everyone comes to the stadium with a spring in their step. Every supporter is that little bit more vocal. They appreciate how important it is and what it means to get through.

"The prestige and history of the club suggests we should be challenging in the later stages of these tournaments. It is up to us to go out there and do it."

Iker Casillas's presence in the 24-man Real Madrid squad that flew into Manchester on Sunday night underlines the importance being placed on the game by Madrid's manager, José Mourinho. The vastly experienced goalkeeper has been missing since January, when he fractured a finger against Valencia, and only returned to training on Thursday.