Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has outlined his respect for Manchester United ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final tie at Old Trafford.
“We’re up against Manchester United, one of the most important clubs in the world, regardless of their current situation,” explained Guardiola. “Especially if you look back over the last 10 or 15 years under Sir Alex.
David Moyes is looking forward to taking charge of arguably the biggest game of his managerial career so far as Manchester United prepare to face Bayern Munich.
“It’s been a very good competition for us so far in my short time here,” Moyes told a press conference on Monday. “I came into it very inexperienced in the Champions League but we’ve done well and now we’ve got the ultimate test in Bayern Munich.
Moyes thinks the pressure is equally balanced because they want to win the game as much as Bayern do. Moyes assures United fans that the red devils are as good a side as any on their day. Excerpts from the press conference at Old Trafford would suggest Pep Guardiola is in agreement and has called on the Bavarians to show their class. Red’s captain Lahm has answered with confidence ahead of tonight’s game: We don’t just want to score an away goal, we want to win.
The history between old foes…
Nou Camp 26 May 1999: Arguably United’s greatest ever triumph.
The Bavarians have won three times against United, with four matches drawn. Three meetings came in the epochal 1998/99 campaign, with the sides playing out 2-2 and 1-1 draws. Of course, Bayern thought they’d got the better of United in Barcelona until the timely interventions of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the German’s have since not forgotten.
Two seasons later Bayern got revenge of sorts, knocking United out in 2000/01’s quarter-finals, then the following season the clubs again traded group stage draws (1-1 and 0-0). The most recent meetings also came in the last eight, in 2010. In the first leg, Wayne Rooney gave United a first-minute lead, but goals from Franck Ribery and Ivica Olic handed Bayern a home win.
At Old Trafford, the rampant Reds threatened to ‘do a Roma’, scoring three inside 41 minutes. But Olic grabbed a goal back before the break and when Rafael was dismissed on 50 minutes it turned the tide. In the ensuing onslaught, Arjen Robben’s goal after 74 minutes put Bayern through on away goals and halted what might have turned into a third consecutive European final appearance.
So Bayern will seek a hat-trick of quarter-final victories in April’s doubleheader, but as United proved before, even with the odds against them triumph is within reach.
Fools day with the reds
Most United fans have more or less given up on their chances against Bayern, and with good reason. The confidence in the words of Moyes and Giggs seems like a cruel practical joke. Bayern has been outstanding over two seasons. Having already wrapped up the Bundesliga, the defending champions have already knocked out Arsenal, in the previous round aiming to oust yet another Premier League team.
Suspensions and injuries
Suspended – Evra (Man. United)
Suspended – Dante (Bayern)
Injured Knee – Van Persie (Man. United)
Injured Foot – Contento (Bayern)
Injured Knee – Thiago Alcantara (Bayern)
Doubtful Calf – J. Evans (Man. United)
Doubtful Thigh – Rafael (Man. United)
Doubtful Hamstring – Smalling (Man. United)
Doubtful Knee – Valencia (Man. United)
What’s your call on tonight’s game? Be objective, ludicrous, and passionate with your views it is why we love football. One thing’s for sure, in a few hours #ManchesterUnited and #Bayern will be the talk of the entire social space. Don’t get left out of the conversation #ManuBayern
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