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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

29 May 2014

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Match Previews

Champions League: Manchester United vs Bayern Munich Match Preview




Allen Hamilton


What: Champions League – Quarter-final first leg
Who: Manchester United vs Bayern Munich
When: Tuesday 1st April, 2014, at 19:45 UK Time
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England


Win Or Bust

David Moyes has done his best to temper expectations heading into Manchester United's quarter-final against Bayern Munich, dubbing the German champions the best side in Europe. Yet Moyes knows the only way his team are likely to be in the Champions League in 2014/15 is by winning it this season. An impossibility on current form, the club's critics have claimed. But Moyes will be forgiven for thinking of Liverpool's unlikely triumph in 2005, when the Reds rode the crest of a wave to the crown while looking distinctly average in the Premier League.

The first leg at Old Trafford is bound to be key to this tie, with Manchester United well understanding the danger of a Bayern Munich away goal. For that Moyes at least has a team packed with European experience to call upon, Manchester United having rated only Barcelona above them in Europe as recently as 2011. If a clean sheet is secured, Manchester United will want a goal – and Moyes claims to have seen weaknesses his men can exploit.

"We have got a really tough game and know exactly what we are going to get but we'll try to exploit little bits of weaknesses they have got", the former Everton manager explained.

Manchester United also head into the clash with some degree of confidence, having come from behind to put Aston Villa to the sword 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.


Pep Guardiola Wants Answers

Bayern Munich enjoyed a mini celebration last week after securing the Bundesliga title with seven games to go. Guardiola insisted no proper party be held, with the aim of continuing their focused and dominant form until the end of the campaign. But the Spaniard was left feeling disappointed on Saturday after the Bavarians conceded three goals at home against Hoffenheim in a 3-3 draw. 

The former Barcelona boss, wanting to take no chances before the trip to Manchester, vowed to get to the bottom of what had happened. It is this professionalism which sets Guardiola apart, the intense Spaniard not allowing a single lapse to go unchecked, where other managers would have written the result off as something natural, always likely to happen once the league was clinched.

"We have to analyse what has happened today", Guardiola said on Saturday. "Then we have to focus on Tuesday because Manchester United are waiting for us then."

 

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Recent form

Manchester United:
West Ham 0-2 Manchester United (22/03; Premier League)
Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City (25/03; Premier League)
Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa (29/03; Premier League)

Bayern Munich:
Mainz 0-2 Bayern Munich (22/03; Bundesliga)
Hertha Berlin 1-3 Bayern Munich (25/03; Bundesliga)
Bayern Munich 3-3 Hoffenheim (29/03; Bundesliga)


Key absences

Manchester United: Antonio Valencia; Rafael; Robin van Persie; Chris Smalling; Jonny Evans; Patrice Evra

Bayern Munich: Thiago Alcantara; Dante (suspended)


Players to watch

Manchester United – David de Gea: The Spaniard has been called into action far more often than Moyes would have liked this season and the likelihood is that no matter how well Manchester United play in this first leg, at some point he will be tested. De Gea has continued to enhance his reputation this season, despite a tough campaign for the Red Devils.

Bayern Munich – Mario Mandzukic: Set to have intense competition next season due to the arrival of Robert Lewandowski, this may be Mandzukic's final campaign at Bayern Munich. The Croatian has hit 17 goals in 26 Bundesliga games this term, but in the Champions League he has struck just twice. He will want to change that here.


Match Prediction

On paper Manchester United have little hope of knocking out Bayern Munich. But football is not played on paper and the Bavarians' 3-3 weekend draw against Hoffenheim proves they can be got at. There is also a question mark about how good they really are with the Bundesliga having proven to be such a stroll. Arsenal, had they not had a man sent off in the first leg, could have given Guardiola's men some nervy moments. Manchester United can keep this tie alive into the second leg. Manchester United 1-1 Bayern Munich.


Betting on Man Utd v Bayern Munich? Make sure you visit Inside Bet first!

 

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Published: Sunday, 30th Mar 2014