The crushing defeat suffered at the hands of Liverpool must momentarily be brushed under the carpet, as Manchester United attempt to overhaul a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos in the Champions League, on Wednesday, March 19 (12:45 PM Pacific, 19:45 GMT).
There’s no doubt that the United squad is far better than the results they’ve been achieving all year, the problem of replacing Sir Alex has been perhaps even more challenging than anybody could have expected. This game represents the final chance for David Moyes to achieve something in his first season in charge.
Moyes claims his job is secure and that he has very big plans for the future, but surely failure to go through against the weakest side left in the competition will do him no favours? Only time will tell…
Manchester United Team News
It has been confirmed that Chris Smalling (hamstring) and Johnny Evans (calf) will definitely not feature due to injury, which means that United will most likely stick with Vidic and Jones. They will hope the performance is slightly better this time around. United do only need two goals and have no need to go over the top in their attacking approach initially. They are likely to bring Welbeck back in for the cup-tied Mata, with Rooney, Januzaj, and the clearly unhappy Van Persie charged with trying to get United through.
Olympiakos Team News
The Greek side retained their Championship with 5 games to spare at the weekend, and with a 2-0 advantage, and having witnessed some of the displays served up by Moyes this season, they will certainly not be approaching this game with any amount of fear. Javier Saviola is back in contention for a starting place, as Michael Olaitan is sidelined after collapsing in a game just after the first leg. The other attacking option is Nelson Valdez, who has been first choice recently, either way Olympiakos are not likely to play more than one up front as they attempt to see this game out.
Predicting a result for a Manchester United game these days is an exercise in futility. We all know that they should be winning more than they lose with the players they have. On paper, they should turn over Olympiakos 3 or 4-0, but sadly for Moyes, the game isn’t played on paper and it rests solely on him that these players are unable to provide results against sides which are far superior.
There’s an argument that says that United always pull out their best performances when they really need to, however, the game against Liverpool was widely seen as being the most important of the season and that didn’t go too well. United should get through, but based on the recent performances I’m going to predict that they will fall just short.
Manchester United 2 – 1 Olympiakos
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 USA, and Sky Sports 1 HD (UK).
Manchester United Lineup