A goalless draw will be enough to see United advance at the expense of Real Madrid at Old Trafford following a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg three weeks ago.
Ferguson does not think that will happen, though.
"There will be goals," he said.
"Both teams will score but we have to think we will need to score more than one.
"As a European night I don't think you get any bigger than this one.
"It is two great clubs with great histories.
"It is set up to be a marvellous game. It won't be a disappointment."
It is just one of the reasons to look back on Real's last visit to the self-styled Theatre of Dreams, an amazing occasion that finished 4-3 to United, thanks to two goals from David Beckham and a comeback that followed a hat-trick from Brazilian forward Ronaldo that earned him a standing ovation from the Stretford End.
The spectre of Ronaldo remains. Only this time it is the man who once delighted the Old Trafford faithful rather than the one who remains the highest goalscorer in World Cup history, whom Ferguson rather cruelly dismissed.
"The older one, the fatter one, peaked as a centre forward at that time," said Ferguson.
"(Cristiano) Ronaldo is a supreme athlete. He never misses a game, has fantastic physique, two great feet, pace, he is good in the air.
"My biggest concern is if he turns up because you expect problems.
"We have to try and curtail that as best as we can. It won't be easy because he does it every week.
"But it isn't something we should fear. If we go in worried about the damage Cristiano can do we forget what we can do ourselves."
The common consensus from the first leg was that United did well subduing the player they sold for a world record £80million in 2009 and who continues to be linked with a return even if Ferguson keeps dismissing it.
It is therefore a measure of Ronaldo's ability that he scored Real's equaliser after Danny Welbeck had given United a first-half lead, ensuring the tie remains balanced on a knife-edge.
The hosts' hopes of repeating that relatively subdued effort from a former world player of the year have undoubtedly been hit by the loss of Phil Jones, whom Ferguson confirmed has not recovered from the ankle injury he sustained against Reading a fortnight ago.
"Phil Jones won't be fit," said Ferguson.
"His performance over there was absolutely excellent.
"It is a miss but we can't deem it as something we can't manage. We have got options. We hope we get that right."
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho insists there will be no repeat of his famous dash down the Old Trafford touchline if his side progress to the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Manchester United.
Nine years ago, at the same stage of the competition, the Portuguese celebrated in such a manner after a last-minute Costinha goal sent FC Porto through on their way to winning the competition.
But the 50-year-old, who has also won the Champions League with Inter Milan, stressed he has mellowed since his brash days as the relative youngster who took European football by storm.
"That match was my first season in the Champions League. Now I have more than 100 matches and I can control my emotions in a different way," said Mourinho, whose side have to overcome the handicap of an away goal with the tie poised at 1-1.
"I look at the situation with different emotions and the approach is completely different.
"If I lose I don't cry. If I win, I don't run the 100 metres.
"But the happiness and sadness will be the same; whether I am sleeping well or not, whether I laugh a lot on the plane or pretend I am asleep.
"That is the same story."
All four of Spain's Champions League representatives - Real, Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia (the three of whom trail their opponents) - find themselves in testing second leg situations.
But Mourinho, who has just masterminded two victories over arch-rivals Barca in the Copa del Rey and league, does not believe that represents a power-shift.
"Everyone knows at this moment Spanish football is dominating in terms of national teams and clubs, but at this moment all the Spanish teams in the Champions League are in difficult positions," he said.
"If the Spanish teams next week are out of the Champions League it doesn't mean Spanish football is collapsing - that is football and it can happen.
"Manchester City went out because the draw had something strange to be put in the same group as Dortmund, and Real Madrid and Chelsea were also in a very difficult group with Shakhtar and Juventus.
"Last year Spanish football was also in trouble with the Champions League and you now have a very strong Juventus and Milan - who had fantastic first legs - so results sometimes don't reflect the situation."
Despite speculation he may return after more than a month out with a hand injury, Mourinho confirmed goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas was not fit to face United.
Contextual targeting label: