Manchester United host reigning European champions Bayern Munich tomorrow under the Old Trafford floodlights as massive underdogs to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League with the Reds at 13/2 with Bet365 to win on the night, surely some of the longest odds ever for United to win at home.
Both sides changed managers over the summer after winning their respective domestic leagues but while the transition from Heycknes to Guardiola in Bavaria has been smooth, with Bayern already crowned Bundesliga champions for a record 24th time, the Moyes era has been disastrous so far.
United came from a goal behind against Villa on Saturday to triumph 4-1 in a match where fan protests threatened to overshadow the football but this season it has been the big games where Moyes’ side has faltered most frequently, with United winning just one of their meetings with the top six this season.
The latest team news is that Patrice Evra is suspended so Alexander Buttner is likely to deputise while Rafael da Silva and Tom Cleverley missed training today meaning they are unlikely to be involved. Robin van Persie will miss the game through injury.
Meanwhile, Dante serves a one match suspension so Javi Martinez could start at centre back. Thiago Alcantara was stretchered off against Hoffenheim with ligament damage and is definitely out, so Phillip Lahm could play in central midfield.
United have a good record under Moyes in the Champions League having lost just one out of their eight Champions League games this season and have kept five clean sheets, a record in this seasons competition.
However, Bayern have won seven successive Champions League games away from home and have only failed to score in one of their last 27 matches in Europe (against Arsenal in March 2013.) Guardiola’s side have attempted the most shots in this seasons competition while an average possession figure of 69.3% is also a record.
The Reds last played Bayern in 2010 and were eliminated at the quarter final stage despite winning the second leg at Old Trafford 3-2. Since the 1999 Champions League final, United have won just one of their six encounters against Bayern, although they have already beaten German opposition in the competition this season.
Few expect anything but a Bayern victory over the two legs and many see Tuesday’s contest as a one-sided affair. United can definitely cause problems to Manuel Neuer and co. going forward but a raft of defensive injuries and a suspect midfield are likely to count against Moyes’ side on the night and in Munich in a weeks time.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-3 Bayern Munich