Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich: Takeaways from David Moyes Pre-Game Presser

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 31:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United and Ryan Giggs face the media during a press conference at Old Trafford on March 31, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

David Moyes and Ryan Giggs addressed the media prior to Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final first leg with Bayern Munich. 

The duo's appearance—made all the more poignant after reports surfaced of an alleged clash between the pair, per John Richardson of the Express—was filled with optimism after the Red Devils' 4-1 win over Aston Villa.

Moyes kicked the presser off by saying United can challenge anyone when in full swing, as reported by the club's official Twitter account:

German media appeared less enthusiastic about United's chances, as highlighted by Ian Herbert of The Independent:

Ryan Giggs is likely to make his final Old Trafford Champions League appearance during the match. As reported by Neil Johnston of BBC Sport, the Welshman doesn't buy into the suggestion United are underdogs against the rampant European title-holders:

"We don't see us as underdogs," said Giggs. "We're United playing at home in the Champions League. We're looking forward to it."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 31:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United talks with Ryan Giggs during a training session at the Aon Training Complex on March 31, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Many have touted Giggs as the next United manager, but United's press officer blocked any questions about the subject, per Dan Roan of BBC News:

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The 40-year-old admitted he is yet to make a decision on his playing career, but insists his relationship with Moyes isn't stretched, noted by Johnston:

"At the end of the season I'll stock and see what I want to do," said Giggs. "The relationship (with David Moyes) is good. I know I'm not going to play every game. You can't sulk."

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United are expected to field a heavily depleted side. Robin van Persie remains injured, Juan Mata is ineligible and Patrice Evra will serve a suspension. Rafael and Tom Cleverley missed training prior to the press conference, raising questions over their fitness, reported by Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.

Moyes will be forced to make changes, although he failed to specify exactly who, per Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News:

Dawson also confirmed Moyes is looking forward to pitting himself against Pep Guardiola—one of the world's most tactically astute managers—giving the Scot an opportunity to prove himself against the best in the game:

Moyes claimed he will "seriously consider" starting Shinji Kagawa, who repeatedly put Bayern to the sword during his time with Borussia Dortmund, reported by United's official website.

The club unveiled plans to engulf Old Trafford with a three-sided crowd mosaic, as revealed on Twitter:

Such an effort goes toward ensuring the Theatre of Dreams is ready to cheer on United in arguably their toughest test of the season. Teams including West Brom, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City have all left the stadium with victories this campaign, a feat Bayern are more than expected to replicate with their wealth of talent.

United's most noticeable weaknesses are their slow defence and labouring midfield, two areas Bayern possess immense quality in. It seems the English side have little hope, particularly across two legs, and will need to play at the top of their ability to stay in the tie.

A loss will end United's hopes of silverware this campaign and is likely to condemn the side to no Champions League football for at least a season. The supporters deserve a performance to be proud of after watching their side struggle all year, but will it happen against the European favourites? Moyes better hope so.


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