It has to be Liverpool v Manchester United, please!! I support the former and grew up loathing the latter.
I'm also Australian, mean-spirited and openly plot against Italian football successes, club or country, until after WC2012, or the clean-up of its tarnished football image, whichever comes first.
So far, so good, with Roma's demise (overkill at 7-1, especially since Grosso isn't one of their players, but was kind enough to get relegated anyway...), and Inter yet again flattering to deceive.
I don't appreciate Serie A and the tempo they play at and, would be happier for Liverpool to repeat the lesson for Chelsea (adding to Mourinho's bleating), before taking on United again, who have been the best team in Europe this season.
Both potential opponents, Utd and Milan have their weak points- defenders for the former and a lack of match-fit attackers for the latter, but I'd rather watch 2 teams I see regularly than one with another match-fixing cloud hanging over its head- "[L]ast week the prosecutors still investigating the match-fixing scandal released a new batch of suspect matches and a list of individuals under suspicion. The Naples-based investigation has been ongoing for a year and has put a new shadow over calcio." (Sheridan Bird's Gazzatta dello 365, 17/4/7)
I'll make the case for Milan first;
Carra and Agger/Hyypia can cope with Gilardino and Pippo, but then you've got Kaka, Pirlo and Seedorf to worry about. I haven't appreciated Ambrosini's contribution much, but it comes down to not knowing much about the less heralded Serie A players. The Rossoneri's diving isn't convincing (a good thing, if you've seen Gilardino v Celtic), not that it matters. With Seedorf in scintillating form, they're more dangerous staying on their feet, with Pirlo hovering over dead-balls from distance, and Kaka closer to goal. With Sissoko's wayward legs chopping down everyone in sight, I would not want to give them any more opportunities than necessary.
We're lucky it's not Sheva and Crespo we'd have to face anymore, and Ronaldo being cup-tied also works to our advantage.
The Milan defence is also aging, and with Bellamy's speed, not to mention Gonzalez', our counter-attacking style could catch out many a Milanese, since deep-lying Pirlo isn't the quickest. Physically, Gattuso is the only one who can compete with Liverpool's strength. Technically, they're superior, man for man, though how Mascherano handles himself against the skilful Milan midfield will determine a lot. We'll let Sissoko and Gattuso battle for supremacy.
A back from injury Nesta is the best opponent. Maldini- a legend, hopefully on his last legs. I'm not sure how forward thinking Oddo is , but am guessing both he and Jankulovski are marauders of the highest order. Oh, and Dida is possibly the worst keeper at a top European side, not at all confidence inspiring, like what happened to Dudek, or United with Taibi and Bosnich.
And now, United; briefly, cos I'm technically done with lunch.
Vidic, the Neviller and Silvestre out. I was unaware O'Shea had injury concerns, but there you go. Not sure why Evra's not been starting either, and Rio has a scare recently too. Is there any United defender who's not among the walking wounded? 'Baked Bean' Brown and Heinze, the answers.
How a midfield like United's keeps playing well above the sum of its parts is what makes United great. Their forwards are not as high calibre as I'm sure they can afford, either. Saha is out, Smith and Rooney, or Giggs, Solskjaer.... again, not so intimidating anymore, but man can they play!
Ronaldo and Scholes bring it all together, with Giggs leadership and Rooney's unpredictability. We outplayed them recently and lost, but for the first time in ages it was apparent we could play at their level, and them off the park.
The opportunities for friendly banter and bragging rights are also immense and worth the risk of ending up with egg on our collective faces, in my opinion.