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Champions League: Everything about Manchester United vs Bayern Munich...

April 01, 2014 11:41 IST

Champions League: Everything about Manchester United vs Bayern Munich...

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Manchester United remain very dangerous opponents despite their struggles domestically as they focus their efforts on Europe, Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said on the eve of their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

While dominant Bayern wrapped up the Bundesliga title in record quick time, United are seventh in the Premier League having endured their worst season for 24 years following David Moyes' appointment to replace the retired Alex Ferguson.

The clash of two of Europe's biggest clubs will forever revive memories of their epic 1999 Champions League final in Barcelona when United scored twice in stoppage time to beat the German side 2-1.

Bayern won on their last trip to Manchester when they beat City 3-1 in a group match in October and a repeat of that scoreline would almost certainly set up Pep Guardiola's team to reach the last four.


Image: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United controls the ball past Jonny Evans during a training session
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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What the managers say...

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Pep Guardiola

"Manchester United are one of the world's best teams. It doesn't matter what situation they're in right now," Guardiola, also in his first season at the club, told a news conference in Manchester on Monday.

"United have good players. These two games could be the best two performances of their season. They can beat us."

Guardiola, who joined Bayern having taken a year off after leaving Barcelona following a host of trophies, was coy over whether he had ever been approached over replacing the hugely successful Ferguson.

"Maybe I didn't understand if I received an offer," he said, apparently joking over Ferguson's thick Scottish accent and speed of talking.

He did though have sympathy for former Everton boss Moyes, who has been the subject of protests from some fans aghast at United's decline a season after winning the Premier League.

"I could also be in his situation one day. Football is a fast-moving business these days," Guardiola added.

"The name Manchester United deserves a lot of respect alone. They fought back well against Olympiakos," the Germany number one said.


Image: Pep Guardiola the coach of FC Bayern Muenchen faces the media
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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What the managers say...

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David Moyes

"We know that on our day we're as good a side as any but we have to show it more often," Moyes said.

"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."

"We have defensive issues, undoubtedly," Moyes added.

"But I won't be giving out my team today, certainly not to Bayern or to you (the media), but we will have to make one or two changes."


Image: David Moyes the manager of Manchester United looks on
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Team news

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Holders Bayern easily dispatched Arsenal in the last 16, winning 2-0 in England, but Guardiola is expecting a tough encounter at Old Trafford and is keeping his cards close to his chest over his lineup.

Thiago Alcantara is out injured but fellow midfieder Toni Kroos, who media reports say is a transfer target for United amid a Bayern contract wrangle, is not guaranteed a start despite impressing against the Gunners.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, courted by Ferguson after a stunning display for Schalke 04 against United in 2011 before joining the German giants, cited their display in the last round as proof the English champions were still a big threat.

United’s Patrice Evra is suspended and will miss the chance to renew his rivalry with Bayern's Arjen Robben.

Moyes will also be without the injured Robin van Persie while full backs Rafael and Alex Buttner are struggling to be fit. Defenders Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all trained on Tuesday.


Image: Toni Kroos of Bayern Muenchen with Javi Martinez
Photographs: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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'No underdogs'

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"Obviously Bayern are a fantastic team," said Ryan Giggs, who will move to within one of Raul's record total of 142 Champions League appearance if he plays on Tuesday.

Now player-coach at Old Trafford, the 40-year-old Welshman told reporters: "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."


Image: David Moyes the manager of Manchester United talks with Ryan Giggs
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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