Mata Unavailable- Possible Manchester United Lineup vs Olympiacos

Mata Unavailable- Possible Manchester United Lineup vs Olympiacos

Manchester United
Wikimedia: Steve Collis

Juan Mata is the one big miss for United, having been used earlier in the year for Chelsea in the group stages of the Champions League. The cup-tied Spaniard will be the only major absentee here as United look to maintain some surprisingly good European form.

The back four looked solid enough against Crystal Palace and should remain unchanged for the game in Greece. Moyes will know that experience in the Champions League, especially in defense, is everything. In Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra he certainly has that.

Although Jones and Evans will be pushing for a recall, it seems that Moyes may have finally realized that an amount of continuity in the back four will breed consistency. Two clean sheets in a row will have helped to drive the point home.

The absence of Mata will give Valencia the opportunity to return, with Januzaj keeping his place on the left, and Rooney and Van Persie continuing up front.

This is it for Moyes now, the Champions League could define his first season, and actually people tend to forget that United have looked very good in Europe this year. Domestically, it’s been a car crash of a season, but football turns up some strange stories and it wouldn’t come as a huge shock to see United go on a bit of a run in the competition this year.

First, they must get past the Greek champions, and with the advantage of playing away in the first leg, Moyes will set up to try to get something to bring back to Old Trafford for the return fixture.