Manchester United can beat Bayern Munich - here's how

Apr 9, 2014
Jonathan Harwood

Rooney, Welbeck and Vidic could hold the key against Pep Guardiola's nervous champions

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

CHELSEA produced a remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain to make it one English club in the last four of the Champions League, but if Manchester United can overcome Bayern Munich to join them in the semi-finals it would be an even more impressive feat.

Working in United's favour is Bayern Munich's record against English clubs, Wayne Rooney's participation in the match after a painkilling injuection in his toe and the fact that David Moyes's team has come into some kind of form.

So how can they win the match?

Prey on Bayern's nerves
The German side has not had the best of times when the English have come calling in recent years. "Since losing on penalties in the Allianz Arena against Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final, Bayern have lost against Manchester City and Arsenal and also been held to a draw by Arsene Wenger’s team," says the Daily Telegraph. It is something Moyes is aware of. "They will have that doubt in their mind," he says. "They are European champions, but they will have the games they have played against English teams in mind. We will try to use it to our advantage." Bayern's 53-match unbeaten streak in the league also came to an end on Saturday when they lost to Augsburg.

Let Rooney rampage
The United striker chipped a bone in his foot in the first leg of the tie and missed the weekend game against Newcastle. But he has trained with the squad in Germany will have a painkilling injection before the game. Some England fans have expressed concerns that his return is premature and could jeopardise his chances of playing in the World Cup. But "Rooney's willingness to play is a major boost for United, with Guardiola clear about the threat carried by the England international", says The Guardian. The Bayern manager has described Rooney as "one of the best players I have ever seen".

Stay strong at the back
This could be Nemanja Vidic's last European outing for United and it could be one of the last times he and Rio Ferdinand turn out in tandem in central defence. The pair "rolled back the years in the first leg", says Alan Smith in the Telegraph. "A repeat performance is obviously needed here. But if Mario Mandzukic plays from the start this time, that challenge becomes a lot more physical. The two centre-halves must cope with the striker's aerial power." If they do so it could set the platform for a famous night. Another boost for United is the return of Patrice Evra at left back.

Pick a decent midfielder
Marouane Fellaini was slaughtered for his dreadful performance in the first leg. So bad was he that some fans claimed United had managed a draw with only ten players. The good news for his critics is that the Belgian will miss this game with injury. Moyes may be tempted to replace him with the more attack-minded Shinji Kagawa, although that could leave United short of steel in the middle. But another plus is that Ryan Giggs is unlikely to play as badly as he did in the first half at Old Trafford.

Get the ball to Welbeck
Several pundits point to the England forward's pace a key part of United's armoury. "Welbeck did not do as much defensive work as either Rooney or Valencia, but his pace played a vital attacking role [in the first leg]," says Robbie Savage on the BBC. "With the chances Welbeck had after getting behind the Bayern defence, United could have had a lead to take into the second leg. Welbeck did not take them, but it is important that United continue to look for his runs on Wednesday, and try to get him behind the two Bayern centre-halves. With Bayern's full-backs pushing forward, that ball will be on, either between the two centre-halves or into the gaps left by Rafinha and Alaba."

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