After a long wait United finally get their knockout phase of this seasons Champions League underway, and first up are potentially tricky Olympiacos side full of confidence. The reigning Greek champions sit a huge twenty points clear at the top of their league, so they can afford to go all-out in a bid for unlikely European glory.
United themselves will be desperate to enjoy some success in Europe’s premier competition this season, because if they don’t win the competition its looking like they won’t be featuring in the Champions League next season. Interestingly enough, Moyes’ men are one of only three teams that remain unbeaten in this years competition, alongside Madrid pair Atletico and Real.
KO: 19:45 BST
Venue: Karaiskakis Stadium
Date: 25th February 2014
Olympiacos are unbeaten in 26 league games so far this season, having won 24 of them and drawing just twice. In the four meetings between the two sides, United have won them all, scoring 12 goals and conceding just twice.
David Moyes has confirmed that United will be without Phil Jones and Jonny Evans who have both remained in Manchester through injury. Nani is still missing with an ongoing hamstring concern, but we’ve been boosted by the return of Rafael and Danny Welbeck who have both travelled to Greece. Juan Mata is cup-tied.
Olympiacos have recently lost top scorer Kostas Mitroglou to Premier League side Fulham for a huge £12million fee, they were also forced to let Vladimir leave the club for around £3million. The club confirmed that Javier Saviola who is their first-choice striker now that Mitroglou has left, has been ruled out of the first leg through injury.
I honestly think we’ll have to be at our best to sneak a win here. Olympiacos are underrated by many United supporters and they are an organised side despite losing a few key players to injuries and outgoing transfers.
Score prediction: Olympiacos 1-1 United
I’m going for a score draw which wouldn’t be the worst result. Bring them back to Old Trafford and finish the job in front of our own fans.