The Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Champions League match will take place this Wednesday, April 9, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific, 19:45 BST).So, in a season which has at times been traumatic and has always been turbulent, it has all come down to this. The first leg ended 1-1 at Old Trafford, Manchester United are now forced to score at least one goal.
As United prepare for their toughest test of the year against arguably the best side in Europe, one can’t help but be slightly pessimistic about their chances. There was a time when even if they weren’t playing well, they would always dig out a performance when it really counted. But this season they haven’t been playing well, and when it’s really counted they have gone missing in a manner never before witnessed.
United’s results against the big sides this season have been so poor that many had written them off before a ball was kicked at Old Trafford a week ago. They came through the tie despite having the least amount of the ball they have ever had, and they created the best chances. That’s something to hold onto going into the second leg, but they will have to offer a lot more in this game if they are to progress.
Moyes said in his press conference: “We’ll need a very good performance from everybody. It’s a game where you won’t be able to carry any passengers. The players are going into the game in a good frame of mind. We’ve given ourselves every opportunity and prepared really well. It’s like a cup final for us. We’re relishing it.”
Not exactly groundbreaking sound bites there, but he’s definitely right. Every United player needs to play at their best to have any chance, and even then it may not be enough.
Bayern Munich Team News
Bayern are without Bastien Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez who are both suspended, while Shaqiri is sidelined through injury. He joins long term absentees Alcantara, Contento, Raeder, Badstuber and Tom Starke so in truth Bayern are slightly thin across the squad. This will offer Moyes hope, although the starting XI is still going to be very strong.
Guardiola was widely criticised for resting so many key players in the defeat to Augsburg at the weekend, a game which brought to an end their 53 game unbeaten run. But Guardiola has made no secret of his focus over the last two or three weeks, and it’s all been on Manchester United.
Manchester United Team News
Moyes surprised everyone with his team selection in the first leg, and as they got a draw he was vindicated. Just about. But this is a different scenario, United can’t sit back and they can’t allow Bayern the level of possession they enjoyed at Old Trafford. Giggs should be sacrificed for Fletcher, while Kagawa simply has to start this time around.Â There’s little doubt that Rooney will play, in fact there was never any doubt about that, despite the bruised toe.
United are likely to be without Fellaini, while Rafael also missed training although there is hope he might make it. Van Persie is the only long term absentee.Â
It’s going to be backs against the wall stuff for United at times, but they need to give Bayern something to think about going the other way. We all know the players can beat Bayern, but we don’t know if the tactics will allow it, and we’ve already witnessed capitulations against Man City twice, Liverpool once, Sunderland in a semi final, Olympiakos in the first leg and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, so the big games this year have been embarrassingly poor. This means that the prediction simply has to be a Bayern win.Â
This match is not related to what has happened previously, but there’s no evidence to suggest that United have got what it takes to go through.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester United
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 USA, Sky Sports 1 HD (UK).