Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring their second goal
Manchester United will hope to establish a first leg advantage in their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Olympiacos on Tuesday. Kick-off at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens.
With the Red Devils struggling just to make the top four in the Premier League, winning the Champions League may be the only way that they can return to the competition next season, though most critics would suggest this United team is not good enough to see off Europe’s best and claim the trophy.
However, they have been given a kind draw for the first knockout round of the competition after topping their group last year and will start as favourites to overcome Olympiacos, who narrowly edged out Benfica to finish as runners-up in their pool behind Paris Saint-Germain.
While manager David Moyes acknowledges that it will be difficult to go all the way in the competition, he believes United’s pedigree in Europe makes the club a force to be reckoned with.
“Everybody wants to win it and we’ll try to do it,” Moyes says. “I never said we would or we can but we’ll be in there.
“Teams don’t want to play Manchester United. They know what it stands for as they have been successful. I hope we can play well enough to get through this round and see what happens next.”
Olympiacos will face United without former top scorer Konstantinos Mitroglou, who signed for Fulham in January. While that sale has obvious benefits, Moyes concedes it also poses a scouting dilemma.
“They are really good and have had a great record. They are undoubtedly the best team in Greece, no question about it. They also have a lot of Greek internationals who will go to the World Cup and it will be a really tough game,” he added.