How Manchester United Will Line Up Against Bayern Munich

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2014

Manchester United are used to the pressure of the latter stages of the Champions League, but things have changed in recent months. 

After a miserable season where failure has been sprinkled on David Moyes' cornflakes for breakfast on a regular basis, the club have used Europe's elite competition as the proverbial magic sponge from the physio's bag. 

The Red Devils travel to Bayern Munich safe in the knowledge that no one expects them to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League. 

Munich are the all-conquering aircraft-carrier warship of the high seas, with an air of invincibility about them, and swagger from another footballing planet. 

United on the other hand are an also-ran in English football this year and on their way out of European competition for next season, like a paddle boat with a huge crack in the wheel. 

United have no right to even consider winning at the Allianz Arena, which is exactly why they might just pull off the shock of the season. 

Football is a game that is not governed by logic. 

So how will David Moyes line up his side on Wednesday night? Will the Scotsman be brave and elude to dare?

Or will he shut the barn doors, and park the tractor across the farm gates?


4-5-1 and Counter Attack have published their probable teams for Wednesday night based on statistical analytics and I think their selection looks accurate. 

However, United's shape is more likely to replicate that of the first leg, with five across the middle and one up top. 

The big debate surrounds Wayne Rooney and his fitness. If Rooney is indeed selected whilst carrying an injury, he is certain to feature in the striker's position, rather than a deeper, work-oriented role. 

This could be a blessing in disguise, saving the Merseysider for the part of the pitch that will ultimately see United win or lose this tie. 

After recent outings, Shinji Kagawa looks likely to get his opportunity in Munich. His form has built steadily over the past few weeks and this match could be the making of him in a Red shirt. 

He might have to start wide left: Not a position that suits him when Moyes plays a 4-4-2.

However, this match dictates that this formation will not be used. Kagawa will be offered the opportunity to pick the pockets of the Germans on the counter-attack, and link up with Rooney to devastating effect. 

A 4-5-1 will offer Kagawa the scaffolding he needs to be creatively influential. 

With both Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia present, there will be plenty of opportunity for Kagawa to drift inside and dictate play. 


The Fellaini Factor

Everyone and their mother is happy to tell you just how awful Marouane Fellaini is and how he is not a player of United standard. 

Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans have both also carried this branding in recent seasons, only to prove the baying minority wrong. 

United have been on their best run of form this season since Fellaini's return to action from injury on February 22 this year. Since then, United have won five of the seven Premier League fixtures he has been available for, losing only to Liverpool and Manchester City, per Squawka.

There is no doubt that Fellaini is an awkward player to watch at times. His tall frame and flailing arms lead him to look like a weapon of choice in a wrestling ring rather than a footballer at times, but this is not completely a bad thing.

The reason United signed Fellaini was that he was a player type that they did not have. It is easy for United fans to criticise him now because of his style, but this is a player who regularly destroyed United on his own whilst at Everton.

He is no worse of a player now than in his days at Goodison Park and just needs to find a way of taking his own unique skill set and applying it at his new club. 

As Fellaini said recently to the club's website:

I was injured for a while but I know I can play better for the team. I feel more confident in myself now because I know the players and I know how to play in this team, which is important for me.

When I arrived, I didn't know the players and the team at all, but now I know everybody and I am benefitting as a result. I have played well in quite a few games, so I am happy with that. I am excited about what is to come and I am determined to be successful for this club.

We are starting to see the green shoots of recovery from Fellaini and United even if this is not acknowledged by some corners of the media and press. 

Fellaini will be vital against Bayern as he protects territory and does the dirty work few are enthused to recognise. 

The form of Michael Carrick has been poor of late, and it is Fellaini that has held United's core together during the past few weeks.

If Kagawa, Welbeck and Valencia are to be offered the freedom to get forward and grab the vital away goal that United needs, it will be the success or failure of Fellaini on the night that will determine whether the Reds progress or not.

Predicted line-up: De Gea, Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Valencia, Kagawa, Welbeck, Rooney 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 Counter Attack



    Russia Squad Cleared for World Cup

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Russia Squad Cleared for World Cup

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports

    Hamsik: Time at Napoli 'Has Come to an End'

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Hamsik: Time at Napoli 'Has Come to an End' | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale
    via | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale

    Bailly Plays Down Man Utd Exit Rumours

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Bailly Plays Down Man Utd Exit Rumours

    via Goal

    Mbappe and the Footballer Waxworks 🎥

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Mbappe and the Footballer Waxworks 🎥

    B/R Video
    via Bleacher Report