Manchester United v Bayern Munich: Alexander Buttner confident he can deal with the threat posed by Arjen Robben
Buttner is likely to cover for the suspended Patrice Evra and he believes that his performances in his past two starts have him confident that he can deal with the winger
Manchester United defender Alexander Büttner is confident he can contain Arjen Robben when Bayern Munich visit Old Trafford on Tuesday for the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Büttner is likely to start the tie as regular left-back Patrice Evra is suspended, but despite making just 11 appearances this season, the Dutchman is adamant he can nullify the threat that his countryman poses. Robben has been instrumental in Bayern’s recent success since arriving at the club in 2009, and any hopes United have of taking a lead to the Allianz Arena could well depend on how they deal with him on Tuesday night.
“I'm looking forward to playing against Bayern,” Büttner told reporters.
“I feel confident about playing them. I know what Arjen Robben can do and I'm ready for him. I've watched him so I know how he plays.
“I've never played against him before and I haven't watched videos or anything like that to study him but I know enough from what I've seen to know how he plays the game.
“He's very good one-against-one, especially when he comes inside. I have to focus on that game and be confident in my own quality. I know I can get the better of him.
“It's not under discussion how good he is, we all know that, but this kind of big game is why you play football. It's what it's all about.”
Büttner has been afforded time to regain his match fitness by United manager David Moyes, with the under-fire Scot selecting him ahead of Evra in two of their past three league matches. Having shone in the two-legged victory over Arsenal in the last-16 though, Robben will be looking to add another English scalp to his collection, especially with the prospect of back-to-back European Cup’s still firmly in their sights.
However, the United left-back feels that although he would ideally like more practice going into such an important game, the two performances against West Ham and Aston Villa have been “vital” in preparing himself for the big occasion.
“I've played two games now and I'm starting to get a good feeling because I thought I played well against West Ham and Aston Villa,” said Büttner.
“It's a big game on Tuesday but it's a chance for me to show what I can do. It's been vital for me to get the two matches because it would have been difficult not to play and that to have to face a big game like Bayern.
“I probably still need a bit more but two games should be okay. After that I hope I can get even more matches.”
A strong performance could also help Büttner put his hand up for consideration in the hunt for Evra’s permanent replacement, as the France international looks to be heading out of Old Trafford and back to mainland Europe when his contract expires in the summer. Sides in Italy and France have been linked with interest in the 32-year-old, with Moyes already showing his intent to bring in another left-back with his pursuit of Leighton Baines last summer.
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