Things just won’t get easier for David Moyes. Following hot on the heels of derby-day defeat at home to Manchester City last Tuesday and the ‘Wrong one - Moyes out’ banner flown over Old Trafford during Saturday’s 4-1 win against Aston Villa, comes part one of what is probably Manchester United’s toughest test of the season - attempting to beat Bayern Munich over two legs.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been in supreme form for much of the season - losing just two of 44 games in all competitions. Bayern have been especially dominant in the Bundesliga and retained the league title after a 3-1 win at Hertha BSC last week.
They were uncharacteristically sloppy at the weekend - letting slip of a 3-1 lead to eventually draw 3-3 against Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena. Guardiola is expected to make changes from the team that started on Saturday, though he will not be able to call on midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is out with a knee injury.
Moyes’ men, meanwhile, rallied well from going a goal down to eventually beat Villa 4-1 in the weekend’s early Premier League kick-off. Wayne Rooney scored his second brace in the space of a week during that win and should lead the line again on Tuesday night. One man United will not be able to call upon at Old Trafford is Juan Mata. The Spaniard scored his first goal for the club on Saturday but is cup-tied for this game due to earlier involvement in the tournament with former club Chelsea.
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KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Manchester United 3 (Gibson, Nani 2) Bayern Munich 2 (Olic, Robben), Champions League, April 2010
Bayern Munich 2 (Ribery, Olic) Manchester United 1 (Rooney), Champions League, March 2010
Manchester United 0 Bayern Munich 0, Champions League, March 2002
10 reasons why Manchester United can cause an upset against Bayern Munich
10 reasons why Manchester United can cause an upset against Bayern Munich
1/10 Wayne Rooney is in red-hot form
While many of United’s players look a shell of their former selves, Rooney appears to be a player reborn this season. His double against Aston Villa on Saturday backed-up a brace against West Ham the week before, and took him to 17 goals in all competitions this season – two less than Munich’s top-scorer Mario Mandzukic.
2/10 Pep Guardiola hasn’t won at Old Trafford
The Bayern coach’s last visit to the Theatre of Dreams ended in defeat as his Barcelona side went down 1-0 after a late Paul Scholes winner in the 2007/08 semi-finals. His playing days weren’t much better either, as he only managed a 2-2 draw when he travelled to Manchester with Barcelona in the group stage of the 1994/95 season. Could Old Trafford be a jinx for Pep?
3/10 Bayern’s record against English teams is poor
Having appeared to conquer all before them, Bayern’s record against Premier League opposition isn’t as good as you’d have thought. Over the past five seasons, they’ve won as many as they’ve lost when confronted by English opposition, with five wins and five losses along with one draw. The most recent game saw them held 1-1 with Arsenal (pictured). The most memorable defeat though? The Champions League final loss to Chelsea back in 2011-12.
4/10 Bayern have been celebrating
With seven matches still to run in the Bundesliga, Bayern wrapped up a second-straight German league title, meaning they could focus their attentions on the Champions League and German Cup final. The up-shot of all this is that a number of reports have claimed the Munich players hit the town in celebration. If you can’t celebrate back-to-back title wins, when can you? (Answer: When there’s not a Champions League quarter-final the following week).
5/10 Shinji Kagawa has always won against Bayern
Having struggled to hold down a place in the United first-team squad, Shinji Kagawa showed promising signs that he could yet develop into a top player at Old Trafford with a good performance against Aston Villa. David Moyes will likely start with Kagawa on Tuesday, especially as he is without the cup-tied Juan Mata, but also because the Japanese international has won all four of his encounters against Bayern during his time with Borussia Dortmund – a point he made reference to in his pre-match press conference.
6/10 Could 1999 happen again?
Manchester United’s finest moment in European football arguably came in the 2-1 comeback victory over Bayern in the 1999 Champions League final, when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck in injury time to secure Sir Alex Ferguson his first Champions League trophy. Could lightning strike twice?
7/10 All eggs in one basket
Chelsea’s success in 2011/12 coincided with a dreadful run in the Premier League that saw them miss out on the top four, ending the season in sixth. However, Didier Drogba’s late equaliser and subsequent winning penalty in a dramatic shootout – over Bayern coincidentally – gave Chelsea a way into the next season’s Champions League, not to mention the accolade of winning a first ever European Cup. With United languishing down in seventh in the league, they can draw inspiration from the Chelsea Class of 2012.
8/10 Bayern didn’t win at the weekend
They may not have lost at all in the Bundesliga this season, but they let slip a 3-1 lead over Hoffenheim on Saturday to ‘suffer’ a 3-3 draw. Guardiola may have chosen to rest his key players for the encounter with Tuesday’s match on the horizon, but it is the first time that Munich have been held in the league since the 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen on October 5 last year. Bravo, Hoffenheim.
9/10 Manchester is the danger-word for Bayern
It’s well worth remembering that Bayern have already lost to Manchester this season. Ok, so it was rivals Manchester City, and it was way back in December, but at least they showed the rest of Europe that they’re not invincible. The feat was made all the more impressive as City ran out 3-2 winners in the German’s own backyard, whereas United will be hoping for a result at home to take a lead on their travels to the Allianz Arena.
10/10 Giggs was phenomenal last time out
Up against it in the last-16 with his side 2-0 down on aggregate, Moyes turned to Ryan Giggs to inspire the side to a three-goal victory against Olympiakos. The veteran midfielder did exactly that, laying on two-goals for striker Robin van Persie – whose hat-trick earned United progression to this stage – and standing out as the best player on the pitch at an incredible 40 years of age. Giggs has not started a match since, but Moyes could be saving him in the hope of another virtuoso display on Tuesday.
Bayern have scored 127 goals in all competitions this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in their last 18 games (won 16, drawn two) and have lost just twice in all competitions this season.
Ryan Giggs has played in seven of the last eight games between the sides - more than any other player.
Since the 1999 Champions League final, United have won just one of the last six meetings with Bayern.
Bayern are aiming to become the first team to retain the Champions League.
United have kept five clean sheets in the competition this season, one more than Bayern.
Manchester United to win: 7.00
Bayern Munich to win: 1.44
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, May 26, 1999
This was football at its most dramatic. For the vast majority of this Champions League final, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side had looked like becoming champions of Europe for the first time since 1976. Mario Basler opened the scoring with an early free-kick before Mehmet Scholl and Carsten Jancker both rattled the woodwork. With time running out, Sir Alex Ferguson introduced Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer. Sheringham swept in the equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time before flicking on David Beckham’s 93-minute corner to Solskjaer, who prodded home the winner. Cue pandemonium.
TV: Live on ITV1 at 7.45pm
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