The prospect of Ronaldo starting on the bench is not inconceivable and at the very least the Portuguese - who has scored 10 in his last 11 games in Europe - is likely to find himself withdrawn from the fray should United appear to be cruising to the semis.
"I've got to play a team tomorrow that can go through and win," said Ferguson, not exactly ruling out starting without Ronaldo. "That's always the intention. It's difficult to leave Ronaldo out of games the form he's in. He's been absolutely outstanding."