Monday, 24 February 2014

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW: Olympiacos v Manchester United

Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Piraeus, Greece
Tuesday 25th February 2014 – KO 8:45pm
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi  (ITA)
Assistant Referees: Elenito Di Liberatore  (ITA) , Gianluca Cariolato  (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallatini  (ITA)

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night in the hope of finishing in the top four in the Barclays Premier League this season to ensure participation in the elite European competition next season.
They do have a chance of qualifying for the competition aside of their league position, but that would mean lifting the trophy in Lisbon in May, which right now they have a one in 16 chance of doing, but it will be something that will involve luck and some great performances, of which neither have been something the club have had this season.

United beat Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday with a penalty scored by Robin van Persie and a thunderous volley scored by man of the moment Wayne Rooney, who on Friday signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract, keeping him at the club for the rest of his top flight career and giving him more time to beat Sir Bobby Charlton’s 249 goal club record, of which Rooney is 40 short of matching at the moment. United’s club record signing Juan Mata is cup tied and will not play a part in the UEFA Champions League after already playing for former team Chelsea this season.

David Moyes has five injuries ahead of Tuesday evening’s match in Greece with Phil Jones and Rafael da Silva both subject to fitness tests and Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans and Nani all effectively ruled out of the clash. Olympiacos manager Michel has defender José Holebas as a doubt with Nelson Valdez doubtful and Javier Saviola injured in this weekends 4-0 victory against OFI Crete FC, which could cause his side some problems with a last of experience up front.

Manchester United Form: – WDDLWW
Last six matches: Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Arsenal 0-0 D, Fulham 2-2 D, Stoke City 2-1 L, Cardiff City 2-0 W, Sunderland 2-1 W
Olympiacos Form: – WWDWWW
Last six matches: OFI Crete FC 4-0 W, Platanias FC 4-2 W, Atromitos FC 1-1 D, Veria FC 5-0 W, Panionios GSS 2-0 W, Panaitolikos GFS 2-1 W

Olympiacos v Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League:
The two sides have played four times in the UEFA Champions League;
Manchester United: Won 4, Drawn 0, Lost 0 – Scored 12 goals, conceded 2 goals and kept 3 clean sheets
Olympiacos: Won 0, Drawn 0, Lost 4 – Scored 2 goals, conceded 12 goals and kept 0 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:
Manager: David Moyes
Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos;
Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Patrice Evra, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 15. Nemanja Vidic, 28. Alexander Büttner, 38. Michael Keane;
Midfielders: 11. Ryan Giggs, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Antonio Valencia, 26. Shinji Kagawa, 31. Marouane Fellaini, 35. Jesse Lingard, 44. Adnan Januzaj;
Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie, 46. James Wilson

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