Manchester United-Bayern Munich: Reds Host FCB with Their Season on the Line

Varun ThappaContributor IApril 6, 2010

After losing the first leg of the tie 2-1 in stoppage time, the English Champions must come out all guns blazing if they hope to save their sinking season. What is even worse, is that Wayne Rooney is unavailable due to the ankle injury he sustained in the leg at Allianz Arena.

However, there are loads of media speculation that suggest Rooney might be included in the squad to face Bayern. Still, it looks highly improbable that he'd be risked.

In the leg at Munich, United were disappointing to say the least. Their midfield was almost non-existent, and there wasn't any penetration. Carrick was again a disappointment in Europe.

In order to tame the German Giants at home, United must change some tactics. First of all, the old guard must drop to the bench.

Garry Neville was torn to shreds by Frank Ribery at The Allianz Arena. In order to cope with the talismanic Frenchman, Sir Alex should pick Rafael at Right back. His performance at the San Siro was more than decent, and his teenage energy should be able to nullify Ribery's pace and trickery. 

I believe that Scholes and Giggs will drop to the bench, with Carrick and Nani slotting in for them in the starting XI. Being a home leg and United looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit, Sir Alex should employ both Nani and Valencia on the wings.

The starting XI should look something like this:

Van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Park, Berbatov.


Park must play in a floating role behind Berbatov, as he did against Milan at Old Trafford. That would, in a way, lessen threats from Schweinsteiger and van Bommel. 

A lot can be said about Dimitar Berbatov. He still hasn't done enough at United. His lackadaisical style of playing is certainly not pleasing to many United faithfuls, but in this match, he may be able to use his experience of playing in the Bundesliga to an advantage.

If he fails to deliver again, his days at Old Trafford could be numbered, and United will certainly look to other avenues come this summer.

As for the German Giants, they have two of their best players coming back—Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben.

Schweinsteiger is a very talented footballer. Of late, Louis van Gaal has deployed him in the middle of the park. At this position, he has become famous for providing assists to the strikers with pin-point balls, and for having efforts on goal himself when just outside the box. United need to keep an eye out for this man, with all the focus mainly on the wings.

Robben, on the other hand, can turn any defender on his day. He often cuts in and takes stinging strikes on goal with his powerful left foot. His strike against Fiorentina was just an example. However, in Evra he has a suitable antagonist.

In all, United will be look to overturn the deficit and win this time. Losing to Chelsea at home over the weekend might have just dented their chances of winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League crown. After two straight losses, they will be looking to put in a performance that delights the United faithful.

I feel it will be another of those epic European nights when the two giants clash, and if I were to give a prediction I'd say Manchester United will come out and give a good account of themselves and win the leg 3-1.