Bayern vs. Manchester United: Key Takeaways from David Moyes' Pregame Presser

Tristan Barclay@@tjbbarclayContributor IApril 8, 2014

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 05:  David Moyes manager of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United  at St James' Park on April 5, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Manchester United manager David Moyes has faced the media ahead of Wednesday's crunch Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich.

Moyes made announcements on the fitness of key man Wayne Rooney while also focusing on a need for his United side to retain possession more effectively at the Allianz Arena, according to United's official website.

The Red Devils go into the second leg with the tie finely poised. They played out a 1-1 draw with Bayern at Old Trafford last week and visit the defending champions knowing they are just one win away from transforming a thoroughly disappointing season.

As the pressure builds ahead of kick-off, here are the key points from Moyes' press conference in Munich.


Rooney will play, possibly with injection

Wayne Rooney has been an injury doubt for United, with the forward picking up a toe injury in the quarter-final's first leg, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian. The thought of him missing such a crucial game in United's already woeful season will send shivers down the spines of the Old Trafford faithful.

With that in mind, it will have come as little surprise that Moyes announced United will do everything possible to ensure Rooney takes to the field on Wednesday. That could extend to giving the striker a pain-killing injection to numb the toe and enable him to play. As Moyes explained, per United's official website:

"We'll do everything we possibly can [to get him on the pitch]. He's happy to take an injection to play which I think shows you his feeling about the game and the club."

While United will be desperate to have Rooney in their line-up, the same cannot be said for Roy Hodgson. The England manager must be having sleepless nights at the thought of his talisman missing this year's World Cup.


Moyes focusing on possession

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United looks on as Rio Ferdinand passes the ball during a training session at Aon Training Complex on April 8, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The first leg saw Bayern starve United of the ball, taking a staggering 74 per cent of possession per BBC Sport. While United opened the scoring from a corner, with that much possession it was only a matter of time before the visitors equalised.

Moyes is therefore targeting a better return on the possession stats, indicating that he is not prepared to park the team bus in front of goal and hope to snaffle an away goal from a set piece.

But such a tactic could prove dangerous at the Allianz Arena. By hunting down possession, United could find themselves exposed at the back, and players such as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos do not need a second invitation to exploit those holes. As United's official website reports, Moyes said:

I'd like to have more possession and have a bigger effect on the game, and my plans are to do that. But they were also my plans in the first game as well. The quality of Bayern at times was very good. You have to respect your opponents and on the night they did some good things. But I expect us to play better.


United have cup "final" mindset

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Bayern Muenchen at Old Trafford on
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

While victory on Wednesday would only ensure progression to the semi-finals, Moyes suggested the second leg is so important to United that they are treating it like a cup final, via BBC Sport:

We will need a very good performance from everyone. It is a game all the players are looking forward to. I feel the players are going into the game in a good frame of mind. It is like a cup final for us. We have to make sure we go through on the night.

Languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, out of both domestic cup competitions and in desperate need of a squad overhaul, United are targeting the Champions League as their last chance of silverware this season.

As ludicrous as it may sound, Moyes' men can take heart from Chelsea's run to Champions League glory in an otherwise disappointing 2012 season. Anything can happen in cup footballalthough, in all honesty, Moyes will need nothing short of a miracle to progress to the last four.