Manchester United v Bayern Munich: Ryan Giggs plays down rift with David Moyes as United struggle with defensive crisis
Both Giggs and Moyes praised Bayern's all-conquering side but believe they are capable of victory despite doubts over Rafael and Buttner
Monday 31 March 2014
Ryan Giggs has refuted claims that the relationship between himself and Manchester United David Moyes has broken down, although he failed to confirm his plans beyond the end of the season as he approaches the end of his playing contract.
Giggs was speaking on the eve of what could be his final Champions League appearance at Old Trafford as United prepare to take on Champions League holders Bayern Munich, after they conquered Premier League side Arsenal in the last 16.
United head into the quarter-final first leg off the back of a solid 4-1 victory over Aston Villa, but Giggs recognises that Bayern pose a far more formidable task to overcome. The Welshman was part of the side that defeated the Bundesliga club on that memorable night in Barcelona back in 1999 when United secured the Champions League crown with a brilliant 2-1 comeback, but the current Munich side under Pep Guardiola have only lost once this season – to United’s rivals Manchester City.
“Obviously Bayern are a fantastic team,” Giggs said in a pre-match press conference.
“They're the holders and Pep Guardiola's taken over and added a few new players and they're a very strong team.
“They're obviously favourites in most people's eyes but we're Manchester United at Old Trafford and we've seen so many good nights there, in Europe especially.
“So as players we don't see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Manchester United playing at home in the Champions League.
“We can't wait. These are the games that you want to be involved in as a player.
“We'll go out there and, yes it's going to be tough, but we're confident.”
Moyes appeared more concerned with producing their best on a more regular basis, with good results against Aston Villa, West Ham and Olympiakos surrounding the dismal showing against City during the 3-0 defeat.
“We know that on our day we're as good a side as any but we have to show it more often,” Moyes claimed.
“I've got great belief in the players and I've said that from day one - that hasn't changed.
“I get the feeling the players all want to play, I can tell that from their attitude in training.
“They all want to play in the big games, that's what the players here have wanted to do over the years.”
Moyes could face a defensive crisis though, having already seen Patrice Evra ruled out through suspension. The Scot has revealed that there are also doubts over Rafael and Evra’s replacement Alexander Büttner, while Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are struggling for fitness.
“We have defensive issues, undoubtedly,” Moyes added.
“I won't be giving out my team today, certainly not to Bayern or to you (the press), but we will have to make one or two changes.”
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