Rely on Robben at Old Trafford

  • By: David John (Twitter: @SLifeDaveJohn)
  • Last Updated: April 1 2014, 19:43 BST

Arjen Robben can help Bayern Munich build an advantage in their Champions League clash against Manchester United.

Arjen Robben can give Manchester United a torrid time on Tuesday
Arjen Robben can give Manchester United a torrid time on Tuesday

The David Moyes rollercoaster ride at Old Trafford continues with Manchester United currently at a relative high point heading into Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

Having got the plum tie and ousted a pretty ordinary Olympiakos side over two legs in the last 16 of the competition, they now face the cup holders and recently crowned Bundesliga champions, who wrapped things up on the domestic front with a remarkable seven games to go.

As Moyes has overseen such a disastrous season in the Premier League, he must at least be counting his lucky stars that his side still have some silverware to play for.

But to cut to the chase, United are simply overmatched and their recent form consistently highlights that point when they face anything regarded as stronger opposition.

Saturday's 4-1 victory at home to Aston Villa will not have done morale any harm at all but four wins in their last eight outings - not including the Greeks - have come against Crystal Palace, West Brom, West Ham and Villa - none of which reside in the top half of the table.

The problems have arisen against better quality outfits, who now no longer view United with trepidation in the slightest as trips to Old Trafford become less and less daunting under the Moyes regime.

Title contenders Liverpool and Manchester City have both run out very comfortable 3-0 winners but without being rude to that pair, this Bayern Munich side could be up another level still.

"Bayern have no fear of United at all," said winger Arjen Robben this week.

"We are razor sharp. Pep (Guardiola) has turned us into the most dominant force in Europe and we have made another giant step this season."

Bayern's 19-match winning streak ended with a 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim at the weekend, but frankly who cares with domestic honours already sewn up and Guardiola opting to rest some of his squad.

Moyes went as far as to revealing that his players are "incredibly focused" for this game but I just can't see any hard recent evidence to suggest that are going to head back to Germany with anything but a deficit to overcome.

Logistically, there is no Robin van Persie for the forseeable future while a ban for Patrice Evra and Rafael Da Silva's half-time exit against Villa with an injury could mean a further reshuffle of an already shaky backline.

Alex Buttner has held his own in relief of Evra against West Ham and Villa, but I would be less confident of his chances against Robben whose earlier quotes suggest he is ready to unleash hell.

The Dutchman has just three goals in the competition to date this season but two have come away from home and one was on his last visit to Manchester in the 3-1 triumph at City in the group phase.

Coral chalk up 7/4 for him to add to his tally at some stage on the night and that looks well worth an interest.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid take a short break from their battle for the La Liga title in the night's other tie.

You have to go back to 2006 for the last time the visitors triumphed at the Camp Nou, but it is worth remembering that all three encounters this season have seen the pair pretty evenly matched.

That said, the hosts have a big advantage experience-wise on the European stage at this level so it is no surprise to see them odds-on to take an advantage to the capital.

In all honesty, I am happy to sit this one out from a betting perspective but with fingers crossed for Diego Simeone's men, who our Ben Linfoot tipped at 40s at the start of the event.

  • Posted at 1445 BST on 31/03/2014.