Allianz Arena, Munich
April 09, 2014; 19:45 BST
Bayern Munich will host Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at the Allianz Arena tomorrow. Despite being tagged as the favourites, the German side didn’t have an easy ride at Old Trafford in the first leg and only managed a draw as Manchester United produced a spirited performance. But they did manage to score the crucial away goal and now have the advantage heading into this match.
Bayern Munich suffered their first defeat in the Bundesliga in their last match Augsburg, although they did field a second-string side having already secured the league. But the German side are winless in their last three matches in all competitions – something which has been a rare occurrence in their recent past. They do still have a fantastic record at home though and only Manchester City have defeated them at the Allianz Arena this season – in what was a dead rubber.
Manchester United on the other hand are coming into this match on the back of a wonderful performance and win against Newcastle United at the weekend. They have bounced back well from the defeat in the Manchester derby and have produced three wonderful performance in their last three games. David Moyes will hope that his side can carry this new found momentum to Munich.
The last time United visited this stadium was back in 2010 when Ivica Olic scored a late winner for the home side. Can they do any better this time around?
Team news and tactics
Pep Guardiola has a lot of injury concerns to contain with ahead of this game. Holger Badstuber, Thiago Alcantara, Diego Contento, Tom Starke and Lukas Raeder are al still out of contention due to injuries. Xherdan Shaqiri was the latest name to join this long injury list after he was substituted at halftime during their match against Augsburg. To add to Guardiola’s concern both Bastian Schweinsteiger, who picked up a red card in the first leg, and Javi Martinez are suspended for this game as well and this has limited Guardiola’s options for this match.
Bayern Munich have already won the Bundesliga and this has provided Guardiola with the option to rest most of his key players ahead of this big encounter. The former Barcelona manager used a completely different back four against Augsburg, but Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba will return to the defence.
Philip Lahm will return to the center of park after being excluded from the match-day squad this weekend. In the absence of Schweinsteiger and Alcantara, Mario Gotze will start behind Mario Mandzukic, alongside Toni Kroos. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will return to the attack as well after they were rested in the last game.
Pep Guardiola insisted that Manchester United will once again look to get men behind the ball, sit back and defend. Bayern Munich knows that they will have to score the first goal to put pressure on United and make them come forward in attack. In the last game Guardiola started with Thomas Muller upfront, but the arrival of Mandzukic in the second half provided them with a focal point in the attack and he could once again be crucial tomorrow.
Expected starting line-up (4-1-4-1): Neuer (GK); Rafinha, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Lahm; Robben, Kroos, Gotze, Ribery; Mandzukic
Some key players will be available once again for David Moyes ahead of this game, although he still has to contain with few injury concerns. The big news for Manchester United is the possible return of Wayne Rooney, who missed their clash against Newcastle United at the weekend with a bruised toe. He was declared doubtful for the second leg clash against Bayern Munich, but the England international seemed to have recovered in time and has returned to training ahead of this fixture.
Patrice Evra also returns for David Moyes after serving his suspension and he is expected to start as well. Juan Mata remains ineligible for Champions League matches after participating for Chelsea earlier in the season. There are some doubts about the fitness of Ashley Young, Ryan Giggs and Rafael ahead of this fixture and the trio are unlikely to start. Jonny Evans is still two weeks away from returning to first team action, while Robin van Persie continues his stint at the side-lines.
Having conceded an away goal at Old Trafford, Manchester United will have to be more adventurous in this game. They will look to keep it tight in the first half of the game and then sneak in a goal in the second half.
David Moyes made a lot of changes to his starting line-up against Newcastle United and he is expected to make as many as six changes to the side he used in that game. David De Gea will return in goal in place of Anders Lindegaard, while Rio Ferdinand and Nemaja Vidic resume their partnership at the center of the defence. Phil Jones, who partnered Chris Smalling against Newcastle as a center back, will move out wide to start as a right back in the absence of Rafael. Alexander Buttner, who produced a good performance in the first leg while containing Arjen Robben, will drop back to the bench as Evra returns from suspension.
In the midfield Darren Fletcher will make way for Michael Carrick in the center of the midfield – alongside Marouane Fellaini. Danny Welbeck will return to the attack as well as he replaces Juan Mata in the side. Shinji Kagawa, who produced a good performance against Newcastle United, will move to a central role in the absence of Mata, while Antonio Valencia, who started as a right back in the last game, will move up to right wing. Wayne Rooney will lead the attack, much to the relief of David Moyes.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK); Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Fellaini; Valencia, Kagawa, Welbeck; Rooney
Players to watch-out for: Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich); Shinji Kagawa (Bayern Munich)
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester United