Liverpool and Chelsea Are Proof Manchester United Have a Chance vs Bayern Munich

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Liverpool and Chelsea Are Proof Manchester United Have a Chance vs Bayern Munich
Jon Super/Associated Press

We shouldn't say it. We shouldn't even think it.

But it's still there. A nagging thought that just won't go away.

It seems ridiculous to suggest Manchester United could possibly win the Champions League this season.

If they can't beat West Bromwich Albion or Fulham at home, then how can they beat Bayern Munich over two legs?

And if the stars did align and David Moyes did manage to out-fox Pep Guardiola with his cunning plan to win the European Cup without a midfield, they would face an equally tough draw in the semi-finals. And again in the final.

But Liverpool shouldn't have won it in 2005. Chelsea shouldn't have won it in 2012. United shouldn't have won it in 1999, a goal down with a few minutes to play.

We all know how those campaigns ended up.

LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/Associated Press

Within seconds of the quarter-final draw being announced on Friday, a picture of Teddy Sheringham celebrating his equaliser in the Nou Camp was being shared among United fans on social media. The caption simply said "believe."

This is where United are at. A lot has changed since United went into the 2010 quarter-final with Bayern as favourites. For the record, it was a tie Bayern won.

It is incredibly difficult to win the Champions League. It's why it has become so hard to defend. But it does throw up some odd results.

In the final months of the 2004-05 season, Liverpool lost to Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Arsenal as well as drawing with Middlesbrough.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

But freed from their Premier League struggles, they beat Juventus, Chelsea and Milan on the way to an unlikely triumph in Istanbul.

During the 2012 run-in, Chelsea lost at home to Newcastle and were battered 4-1 at Liverpool. But in the Champions League they found a way to beat Barcelona in the semi-finals and Bayern in the final. In Munich.

They are memories that mean the nagging thoughts that United could do the same won't go away until they're out.

There is, though, always a danger that it could go the other way.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

This is a Bayern team that has improved since it demolished Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals last season. It is the team that made City look toothless and clueless at the Etihad Stadium in October.

The form book, showing United sitting seventh in the Premier League and Bayern racing away with the Bundesliga, suggests it could end up being uncomfortably one-sided.

It doesn't help that there's a fair chance Alex Buttner will play in the first-leg with Patrice Evra serving a suspension.

United aren't supposed to beat Bayern. Logically, there is little you can argue to the contrary.

But where there's life there's hope. And United are still alive. Just.

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