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United primed

Red Devils look forward to ‘big match’

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The night FC Bayern celebrated winning the Bundesliga with their fans in Berlin, it was all doom and gloom for fans in Manchester - at least in the red half of the north English metropolis. United lost 3-0 at home to local rivals Manchester City and the spirit of optimism after the comfortable wins in the Champions League against Olympiakos (3-0) and away to West Ham United (2-0) in the Premiership was blown away almost as fast as Edin Dzeko’s opener. However, they say you should never count your chickens. David Moyes’ team rediscovered their winning ways against Aston Villa ahead of the Champions League quarter finals.

The Saturday lunchtime game did not start well for United with Ashley Westwood scoring from a free kick to give the twelfth placed Villans the lead on 13 minutes. Talking after the game, Moyes said his team was “very nervous” in the opening minutes before adding, “we sorted ourselves out and moved up a gear or two.” Wayne Rooney again showed he is in form at the moment with an equaliser on 20 minutes and a penalty just before half time to hand United the lead - “at just the right time,” Moyes noted.

“We’ll move up a few places in the league if Wayne scores two goals in every game,” said Juan Mata who opened his account at United with a strike just after the restart to put the hosts 3-1 up. Hernandez came off the bench to score in added time to make it 4-1. The Spanish midfielder is cup-tied for the Bayern game after his move to Old Trafford from Chelsea in the winter break. “It will be a big match and we can hardly wait for it,” said Mata still looking forward to Tuesday night before concluding, “I hope we can get a good result.”

Moyes banking on fit-again duo

“When we were drawn against Bayern I thought: We’re up against probably the best team in Europe,” said Moyes, “it’ll be a very difficult game for us. But we’ll try to exploit their weak points.” The successor to Sir Alex Ferguson suspects: “Bayern have won the Bundesliga by a mile - they can now focus completely on the Champions League.”

United have a few injury worries ahead of the European tie. Right back Rafael had to go off at half time and a medical on Sunday should reveal the extent of the injury. “I hope it’s not serious,” said Moyes who is already missing Antonio Valencia (knee) and Robin van Persie (knee). On the plus side defenders Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are back in full training.