Manchester United are likely to be without Rafael, who missed training with a thigh injury, while Patrice Evra serves his suspension.
As Manchester United host Bayern Munich at Old Trafford tonight in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, David Moyes will have to contain with some selection headaches, especially in his defence.
Patrice Evra is suspended and United are sure to miss his experience at back. Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are still struggling with their fitness. The duo will undergo late fitness test ahead of this game to confirm their availability for selection.
There are also some doubts about the fitness of Rafael, who was substituted at half time during United’s match against Aston Villa with a thigh injury. The extent of his injury is yet to be known and he is a doubtful to start against Bayern Munich. The full back also missed the training before the game. But the good news for United is that Antonio Valencia did take part in the training and could make his first start since the 3-0 win over Olympiakos earlier this month. Robin van Persie remains the only other long term injury concern for Manchester United at the moment.
David Moyes is likely to make five changes to the side that won against Aston Villa at the weekend. Chris Smalling, who seems likely to pass his late fitness test, could feature as a right back in this game in place of the injured Rafael. The other option for Moyes is to either play Jones or Valencia in that role. The prospect of Ribery facing someone like Smalling could be alarming for the United fans, but Jones would look to be their best bet at the moment, which means Rio Ferdinand could return to partner Nemaja Vidic at the center of the defence.
In the midfield Michael Carrick will return to the starting line-up after starting on the bench against Villa and he is likely to be partnered with Ryan Giggs, who put up a fantastic display against Olympiakos in the last round. Valencia will replace Young on the right wing, while Januzaj replaces Juan Mata, who is ineligible to participate in this tournament for United this season. This means Shinji Kagawa will start behind Wayne Rooney in a more central role. Moyes could also drop the former Borussia Dortmund midfield in favour of Marouane Fellaini and opt to play more bodies in the midfield against Bayern. But the former Everton manager will know that his team needs to have a positive result at home in order to have any chance of going past Bayern over two legs.
United’s main problem will be to contain Ribery and Arjen Robben on the wings. Buttner is still inexperienced and has been defensively shaky at times, while Rafael’s injury will mean that the home side will have to make do with a make shift right back. Both Januzaj and Valencia will have to work hard and help out defensively on the wings – especially Valencia, who will have to keep a close eye on Alaba as well.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK); Smalling, Vidic, Jones, Buttner; Carrick, Giggs; Valencia, Kagawa, Januzaj; Rooney