The reds face German giants Bayern Munich on Tuesday night in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals. The current holders are set to present David Moyes with his toughest test as Manchester United manager to date, and the Germans will go into the game brimming with confidence after securing the Bundesliga title on the weekend. Most bookies have United’s odds on at 7/1 to win the game, evoking the mammoth task ahead for the reds.
The big team news ahead of tomorrow’s much anticipated game is that Rafael Da Silva missed Monday morning’s training session. United’s other first choice full back Patrice Evra is also suspended for the first leg. Robin Van Persie is also unavailable of course due to his long term knee injury and Juan Mata is sadly cup tied. The big boost for the reds however is that defenders Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all trained on Monday morning following missing out on the weekend. With all this taken into consideration, here is the side David Moyes may pick for tomorrow’s huge game:
United’s number one, David De Gea is a certain to start tomorrow. He has been on good form as of late although his positioning was questionable for Aston Villa’s goal on Saturday. The spaniard will have to be on top form tomorrow night and will undoubtedly be kept busy by the German side.
Alexander Buttner looks almost guaranteed to start at left back with Patrice evra being suspended. The Dutchman has looked solid throughout his recent game time but this is a different cup of tea for the full back. With Rafael a doubt after missing Monday’s training session, Chris Smalling could more than likely come back into the team in the right back position. as for the heart of the defence, Phil Jones would expect to keep his place in the side after a good run of form, and the club captain Nemanja Vidic could retain his place alongside him with his leadership skills and experience likely to be vital.
After sitting out against Aston Villa on Saturday, Michael Carrick should be expected to come back into the centre of midfield. His midfield partner is a big decision for Moyes, and it is likely that Ryan Giggs could get the nod following his world class performance in the last round against Olympiakos. On the flanks I fully expect Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck to start. The pair’s pace on the counter attack could be crucial for United, and their workrate will also be vital as they will have an important job in helping out the full backs against the threat of Robben and Ribery. United’s wide men will be key tomorrow.
Wayne Rooney is a certain to start up top, and he needs to put in a world class display if United are going to take anything from this game. I then expect Shinji kagawa to play in behind the Englishman, with the role of dropping into the heart of United’s midfield for most of the game when Bayern are in possession. Moyes has started to give the Japanese international more game time of late, more likely than not so that he has had plenty of match practice ahead of this huge game. If one player knows how to hurt the Germans it is Kagawa.
Predicted Starting XI
Smalling, Jones, Vidic, Buttner;
Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Welbeck;
Who do you think will be in Manchester United’s starting XI? Comment in the section below.