Created on 06-04-2014 at 14:15 PM
England’s most successful club Manchester United have won four, drawn one and lost only one of their last six matches. Three wins from their last four games have propelled the team coached by respected Scot David Moyes up to sixth in the Premier League, handing the Red Devils a realistic chance of qualifying for European competition next term with five games to play.
A convincing 4-0 win away to Newcastle United on Saturday has made Moyes confident of achieving at least a Europa League finish this term. “I think we played very well as a team today,” commented Moyes after goals from the outstanding Juan Mata (39, 50), Javier Hernandez (64) and sub Adnan Januzaj (90+3) sealed a merited win at St James' Park.
Strong on the road
United are running into consistent form prior to Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final return away to Bayern. Moyes’ men are especially impressive on the road: the victory in Newcastle was their tenth away win of the season, better than any other team in the Premier League. “I’m really delighted with our away performances,” noted Moyes. “probably the most difficult thing in football is winning away from home. We were fantastic at times today.”
United will undoubtedly be confident when they visit the Allianz Arena looking to build on a 1-1 draw at home and make the last four in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2011. Compared to the FCB clash at Old Trafford, Moyes made no fewer than eight changes to his team in Newcastle and rested a host of regulars including keeper David de Gea, captain Nemanja Vidic, centre-back Rio Ferdinand and veteran Ryan Giggs.
Rooney doubtful, Evra returns
Moyes was unable to field Wayne Rooney, who is struggling with a bruised toe. The England striker is rated doubtful for the Munich clash, as is Ashley Young, who came off after 17 minutes in Newcastle with a hand injury. “It’s not looking good,” reported Moyes, who is definitely without top striker Robin van Persie, although Patrice Evra is eligible again after sitting out a ban in the first leg.
The burning question is whether United will park the bus at the Allianz Arena in the same way they did at home. The reigning Premier League champions must score at least once to keep alive their dream of the last four, so Moyes could yet vary his tactics. “At the moment Munich are going through unless we do something about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean in the first minute, but somewhere within that game we have to do something that gives us a chance of getting through," the former Everton boss remarked.
“We have to make sure we give ourselves a chance by not conceding and then having to chase the game. If you have to chase the game against Bayern, it could be difficult because they are very good with the ball. We have to try and get the first goal,” continued Moyes. The Red Devils’ final pre-match training session takes place on Tuesday morning at their training centre in Carrington, before the party boards the flight to Munich. The obligatory pre-match press conference takes place at the Allianz Arena in the evening.