Though United are free and clear at the top of the Premier League, Jose Mourinho's Real are in third place in Spain - and the Daily Express has a stark warning for the Portuguese manager: "Jose's last stand - beat United or it's axe for Mourinho" reads the paper's headline.
With Barcelona 16 points ahead of Real in the Spanish table, "Mourinho will only save himself from the chop by winning the Champions League – and even then he is likely to come to a gentleman’s agreement with Perez to leave, with a return to Chelsea on the cards."
The Daily Mail also trumpets the fact that Real Madrid's coach is on his way back to English football, something which the Portuguese manager has been talking about for a good 18 months or so but which the Mail only just appears to have noticed. Undaunted, the Mail hails Mourinho for his mind games in, "choosing his official press conference to declare that he would soon be returning to English football."
The Sun focuses on Mourinho's domestic troubles, with chief football writer Steven Howard starting his piece in what is intended to be moody fashion: "He wore a simple green Real Madrid tracksuit - and a frown."
The impact of that opening line is considerably undermined by being published beneath an image of Mourinho wearing a grin so broad you'd suspect him of having been told that he'd won the lottery on the same day that Angelina Jolie phoned him up to arrange some private footie tuition.
The Mirror does better with its suitably anguished photo of Mourinho accompanying Oliver Holt's views on Wednesday night's clash and it's context within the manager's career: "The third act of Jose Mourinho’s managerial life is drawing to a close. After ‘Mourinho, Magician’ and ‘Mourinho, Magnificent’, ‘Mourinho, Martyred’ is the story of a genius undermined by jealous pygmies in the Spanish media...
"If Real Madrid triumph over United, it will represent a victory over an enemy at home as well as from Manchester. It will represent an epic triumph over dark forces that are trying to undermine him from within the club, as well as over the team from Old Trafford."
The Times, Telegraph and the Daily Star look at the match from Alex Ferguson's point of view, with the Star calling it "Fergie's Treble Crunch" and the Telegraph saying the match is the "Acid test" for Ferguson's current United outfit.
Inside the Times, Oliver Kay turns the focus on the other big story in the build-up to the clash: Cristiano Ronaldo. The article claims that Ronaldo can single-handedly decide a match, "that will come down to United’s efforts to neutralise the threat of Ronaldo, a player whom Alex Ferguson regarded as the best player in the world – 'streets ahead of Messi, streets ahead of Kaká, streets ahead of them all' — when he sold him to Real in 2009 and whom he considers to have made a vast improvement during his three and a half years in Madrid."
The Daily Mail at least puts aside such musings and shares with its readers the six-point plan drawn up by Martin Keown - "famed for his no-nonsense approach" - for dealing with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Those six items: it's a team game, so everyone should try tackling Ronaldo when appropriate; try and stop passes aimed at him in the first place; particularly if they come from Xabi Alonso, since he's very good at passing; make sure you get to Ronaldo quickly before he does something clever; don't give away free kicks that he might be able to put in the goal; and finally, if all else fails, make sure you have somebody man marking him./Eurosport/