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Will Bayern Stumble Over United?

When Bayern Munich host Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final second leg, the European champions are still strong favourites to reach the semi-final of the competition.

United’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford was almost seen as an upset, following Bayern’s dominance in Europe and the Bundesliga over the past two seasons.

The Bavarians are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 matches in the Champions League, and are undefeated against United in nine of their last ten games in all competitions.

Bayern have only failed to score in one of their last 28 Champions League games (last season against Arsenal) and have not lost in the knockout stages in eight games (W6 D2).

However, Pep Guardiola’s side are experiencing their own mini-crisis and Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Augsburg was their first after 53 domestic games. They are winless in their last three games in all competitions and Guardiola knows he cannot afford to be eliminated tonight.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are on a little high after winning their past two Premier League games and drawing the first leg 1-1.  They have kept five clean sheets in nine Champions League games this season and scored in each of their last 15 games against German opposition.

United will be boosted by the fact that Bayern have recently struggled against English sides at home. They lost their home final in 2012 on penalties to Chelsea, lost to Arsenal last year and were defeated by City in the group stages this season before again held to a 1-1 draw by Arsenal.

Bayern will miss Bastian Schweinsteiger, who scored the equalizer in the first leg, as well as Javi Martinez through suspension, while United have to replace the ineligible Mata. In addition Rafael, Jonny Evans and Marouane Felleini have not travelled to Munich due to injuries.

But Wayne Rooney will play despite his recent toe injury and should give the guests a massive boost. Pep Guardiola has rested the likes of Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Lahm, Gotze, Robben Ribery and Mueller on Saturday and will want to convince his doubters with a clear victory.

Despite the need to score a goal, I expect David Moyes to opt for a defensive tactical approach, which could see a similar game as in the first leg. United are the strongest away team in the Premier League this season and if they were able to score first - likely on the counter or after a set piece - we would be in for a really great game.

An interesting stat is that Bayern have drawn the first leg of a European knockout tie 1-1 away from home on 11 previous occasions and progressed to the next round in all 11 of those ties.

David Moyes has called this game the 'toughest test of his career', but I don't think United can upset Bayern again. My prediction is 3-1 victory for the Germans.

What’s your predictions? Have your say in the comment section below.


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