Seeing Manchester United draw Bayern Munich for the quarter finals of the Champions League brought wonderful flashbacks and memories of that great night in the Nou Camp in 1999.
“….And Solskjaer has won it”
Can you believe it’s been almost 11 years? No, me neither.
Over the last day or so I’ve been in a quandary on how I hope United line up. There has been talk of playing a 4-4-2 formation (perhaps due to the recent good form of Berbatov and the apparent weak defence of Bayern) and going for a victory which would virtually win the tie for United. I’d be inclined to stick with the tried and trusted formation of 4-5-1 for European and the bigger Premier League games. We are currently 17 games (last away defeat against AC Milan in 2007) unbeaten away from home thanks mainly (and of course the players) to the 4-5-1, so to change now could be a tad unwise.
I’ve heard plenty of talk that United are already through to the semi finals, I’m not having any of that. Bayern Munich cannot be taken easily; they have a rich history and pedigree in European football having won the Champions League/European Cup on four occasions.
Bayern have injury doubts over their star players Ribery & Robben and Schweinsteiger is unavailable due to suspension. I expect Ribery to start, however there is less uncertainty regarding Robben after he pulled up with a calf strain in Bayern’s defeat over the weekend. Bayern are indeed in a poor run of form having only won two matches in their last six games.
Louis Van Gaal (Bayern’s manager) is apparently not scared of Rooney. Whether Rooney starts is another matter, as I type there are rumours Rooney will not feature at all. I’d be very surprised if Rooney doesn’t feature, he apparently took part in a full training session last night so I’d expect him to play some sort of role.
As mentioned earlier I’d play a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation.
The same back five as for the previous game against Bolton with Rio Ferdinand coming in for Jonny Evans. Gary Neville will perhaps have his work cut out against Ribery – could be a hard night for our Captain…
Midfield selection could be quite interesting. I feel Carrick’s form has dropped off slightly in recent games and as Scholes was substituted early (against Bolton) it could mean a start for the ginger magician. Scholes will offer control in midfield. Park was rested against Bolton so I fully expect him to start alongside Fletcher in the three man midfield.
If Rooney is fit, he starts as the lone striker with Nani and Valencia offering support from the flanks. If not Rooney, Berbatov has done okay as the lone striker so there are no qualms on my behalf.
I think we’ll definitely score, perhaps two goals. I’ll be happy to just score the one goal however as well know how vital an away goal is in Champions League.
2-0 victory for United.
What do you think?