Manchester United will be hoping they can party like it’s 1999 after drawing Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter finals, but in reality their frailties are likely to be exposed by the holders.
A rousing win over Olympiacos at Old Trafford deserved praise given the humbling United had just received at the hands of Liverpool, though the cracks which were papered over could quite easily be ripped wide open by Pep Guardiola’s ruthless Bayern team.
Having already found themselves in the unfamiliar position of 18/1 outsiders to lift the Champions League trophy, David Moyes’ side have unsurprisingly drifted way out to 25/1, while Bayern’s status as favourites to retain their crown has shortened to 15/8 from 2/1.
Even before United’s woeful domestic campaign had unfolded, Bayern would have been considered favourites to qualify from the tie, and any other, given their all-conquering treble-winning antics of last season.
Furthermore, since their famous last-gasp victory over the Bavarians at the Camp Nou in ’99, six meetings since have only seen the Red Devils triumph once.
In terms of the first leg at Old Trafford, United will start as the 10/3-rated underdogs, the draw a 13/5 shot and the Bayern win odds-on at 4/5.
To put United’s task into context it was at this stage last season that Bayern accounted for runaway Serie A leaders Juventus 2-0 home and away.
Then the Germans laid down arguably the biggest marker in Champions League history by trouncing the mighty Barcelona 7-0 over two legs of their semi-final en-route to European glory.
Given Bayern’s core strength can be found in their array of midfield talent, this looks likely to the area where they expose Moyes’ side the most.
This season at least, Bayern have shown their fallibility in Europe by losing to Manchester City at home in the group stages 3-2, but still remain the most daunting of opponents in the competition and unbeaten in the Bundesliga all season.
With Arsenal having managed to grab a draw in the Allianz Arena in the last round, there are further glimmers for Moyes’ side to hold onto, but given the form they have shown all season there could be further tears before bedtime in the red half of Manchester.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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