Betting: Mission impossible? The players who need to step up for David Moyes

With Robin van Persie absent through injury, Al Hain-Cole looks at the players David Moyes will be counting on as his side host the Champions League favourites at Old Trafford

After a season of underperforming, David Moyes will need his players to raise their game dramatically when they take on Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
With Robin van Persie out injured since his hat-trick against Olympiakos in the last round, there is even more pressure on Wayne Rooney to provide inspiration against the European champions, who have conceded just five goals in seven Champions League games so far.

Having struck his 16th and 17th goals of the campaign in the 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, the England striker represents his team’s biggest hope of hitting the back of the net this evening, at odds of 2/1 (3.00) with William Hill.

Considering Van Persie and Rooney are responsible for 13 of the 19 goals Manchester United have scored over the last 12 games, it is difficult to see where else their attacking threat could come from, although Danny Welbeck is available at 7/2 (4.50) to add to his 10 strikes this season.

Javier Hernandez came off the bench to fire just his third goal of a disappointing season on Saturday, and is on offer at 4/1 (5.00) to find another tonight.

Antonio Valencia found the net in both group games against Bayer Leverkusen but is up against it at 7/1 (8.00) to make the headlines against more German opposition, while Shinji Kagawa can be backed at 11/2 (6.50) to put his Bundesliga experience to good use by scoring at Old Trafford.

Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are spoilt for choice with an attack that has scored 127 goals in the 44 games of their all-conquering season so far, and 22-goal top scorer Mario Mandzukic is 3/1 (4.00) favourite to break the deadlock, or available at 8/11 (1.73) to strike anytime.

With 12 goals in his last 21 Champions League fixtures, Thomas Muller offers probably the best value at evens (2.00) to continue his fine record in this competition, while Arjen Robben 6/5 (2.20), Mario Gotze 6/5 (2.20) and Franck Ribery 5/4 (2.25) are all bound to pose a real threat on a difficult night for the United defence.

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

Basler: There's no way Bayern will lose to United

The former Bavarians midfielder – who scored in the 1999 Champions League final against the Red Devils – can see only one realistic outcome on Tuesday night

Former Bayern Munich star Mario Basler says there is no chance of his former club losing to Manchester United.

Basler scored the opening goal in the 1999 Champions League final before Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stunned Bayern late.

The two clubs do battle again in Europe again on Tuesday in the first leg of the quarter-finals, and with Bayern already crowned Bundesliga champions and United floundering domestically, Basler can only see one outcome.

“A lot will depend on the form of the two teams on the day, but I don’t think Bayern will lose to United, not by any stretch of the imagination,” Basler told the official Bundesliga website.

“Every team that reaches the quarter-final is dangerous, but Bayern are still the clear favourites for me, even though United’s squad is strong. Bayern will focus on their own game.

“United versus Bayern is a great match-up with a lot of history, but I think the result will be more clear-cut in favour of Bayern this year. I’m expecting them to win.

“Bayern are so consistent and don’t underestimate any opponent. They just focus on their own strengths.”

The first leg at Old Trafford takes place on Tuesday, with the return at the Allianz Arena scheduled for April 9.

Manchester United still a force to be reckoned with, insist Lahm

The defender has stressed that David Moyes’ side remain a considerable threat regardless of their disappointing performances

Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm has warned his team-mates not to underestimate Manchester United ahead of the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday.

The Bavarians have already retained their Bundesliga title, whereas United have struggled domestically, but Lahm has insisted that anything can happen in this week’s encounter at Old Trafford.

“We know how to play against Manchester United and we are brimming with confidence,” Lahm told AZ.

“But it’s not like we have a free pass to the semi-finals. They have been struggling in the Premier League, but they are still Manchester United. They have a great team and know what to do.

“They have plenty of experience and will pose a stern test. We are going to Manchester to win, though. Let that be clear.

“These are the decisive weeks of the season. We have already won one title, but there are still two more to go. We are still hungry for more.”

United and Bayern last met in the Champions League in 2009-10, when the Bundesliga champions progressed to the semi-finals on the away-goals rule.

Guardiola: I met with Sir Alex & maybe he offered me the Manchester United job

The Bayern Munich boss has joked the Scot may have offered him the chance to take over at Old Trafford but says is not sure because he could not fully understand his accent

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has joked he may have been offered the Manchester United job at a dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson but that he could not fully understand the Scotsman’s accent.

Guardiola was heavily tipped to move to Old Trafford when Sir Alex eventually retired but instead surprised many by announcing his intention to join the Bavarian giants in January of 2013.

Now, as he prepares his side for their Champions League quarter-final clash with David Moyes’ men, he has revealed that he may have been asked to succeed the Scot – but that his poor English led to him misunderstanding the 72-year-old.

“He invited me to a super restaurant,” the Bayern coach told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“We had a very good time but my English is not so good, so when Sir Alex spoke quickly I didn’t understand him. Maybe I didn’t understand if I received an offer or not!

“It was a friendly dinner, like always he has with me. He was so gentle and we spend a very good time together.”

Guardiola also offered consolation to David Moyes who, in his first season at United, has overseen a number of poor results.

The Red Devils are currently seventh in the Premier League but the ex-Barcelona manager believes the 50-year-old needs a “little more time” to prove his managerial ability.

“No one can have the secrets to eternal success. No one can win titles without big players and I was lucky throughout my career to have big, big players,” he added.

“I have a lot of respect for my colleagues and, when Manchester United decided to take David Moyes, it is because they are able to do it. Sometimes you need a little more time. The decisions of Manchester United are always right. They know he is a good coach and did a good job at Everton.”

Manchester United – Bayern Munich Betting Preview: Visitors value to grab glory in a goal glut

The defending European champions face English opposition again and our tipster expects them to claim victory in a goal-laden first-leg tie against David Moyes’ men on Tuesday

Manchester United’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League appear to be almost entirely dependent on their success in this season’s competition.

The Red Devils’ credentials will face an acid test on Tuesday night when they play host to defending European champions Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

David Moyes’ men boast a 100 per cent record on home soil in the Champions League this season and can be backed at a chunky 11/2 (6.50) with Paddy Power to maintain that record with victory over the German giants on Tuesday. That price is the one of the biggest United have ever been for a game, which shows the decline at Old Trafford in recent months.

Pep Guardiola’s side have already wrapped up their domestic title but, having eliminated Arsenal in the last round, Bayern will be hungry for more success against English opposition here.

Bayern are available at just 1/2 (1.50) with Paddy Power to seize a first-leg lead over United while the draw is chalked up at 7/2 (4.50) with the same firm.

Robin van Persie’s hat-trick helped the Red Devils past Olympiakos in the last round but they will be without the services of the injured Dutch striker on this occasion so David Moyes’ men may well be reliant on Wayne Rooney to breach Bayern’s backline on Tuesday.

The England striker, who grabbed a double against Aston Villa at weekend, can be backed at 8/1 (9.0) with Paddy Power to break the deadlock while the same firm offer a tempting 12/5 (3.40) for the 28-year-old front man to net at any time.

It is worth noting that if Rooney scores at any time during Tuesday’s tussle, Paddy Power will refund all losing first, last and anytime scorer singles placed before kick-off as well as any scorecast bets – a hugely appealing money back special from the odds compilers.

The visitors boast an array of attacking talent, with Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic heading up Paddy Power’s first scorer market at 16/5 (4.20) while former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben can be backed at a tempting 11/2 (6.50) to open the scoring at Old Trafford.

Bayern have scored three times in five of their eight Champions League matches thus far this term and can be backed to get amongst the goals again when they face a Manchester United side that has leaked nine goals in their last five home matches in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola’s men have also conceded in six of their last seven matches so there could be goals galore here but, with both teams to score chalked up at just 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power, punters need to delve deeper to find the value here.

Therefore, it is the juicy 15/8 (2.88) quote on offer from Paddy Power for both teams to find the net and Bayern Munich to win that is the recommended play for punters ahead of Tuesday’s tussle.

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