The team Moyes must pick for Man Utd to overcome Olympiacos

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Regardless of the result against Liverpool, Manchester United’s game against Olympiacos was going to be a pivotal part of David Moyes’ tenure. But having lost so emphatically this Champions League second leg is now heaped in extra helpings of pressure.

United are 15/8 to qualify from the tie, with a 90-minute win available at 8/15, the draw at 7/2 and a Greek victory a 5/1 shot.

But with his job supposedly hanging by the thread of his frayed fingernails should the desired result not come, we’ve decided to help the Scot out by picking his starting XI for the game. What do you think of our decision?

Man-Utd-Olympiacos-XI-18-3-14

Picking David De Gea is a no-brainer, as he’s one of the few United players to perform consistently well since the former Everton manager joined the club.

In front of the Spaniard is Phil Jones who, clumsy penalty concession aside, impressed against the Reds. He should be joined by the wise-head of Rio Ferdinand as the pair have won the last three games they’ve played in together and can work well as a student/teacher-type partnership.

At full-back, Rafael and Patrice Evra are unrivalled in their ability to bomb forward and support attacks and, considering Moyes’ preference for crossing, fit his game-plan well.

In the middle band Moyes must attack. Michael Carrick rarely strides too far from the centre-circle and can be tasked with dropping anchor in front of the defence. That allows the former Spurs midfielder’s partner to roam free, play in between the lines and create. It’s a perfect chance for Shinji Kagawa to shine.

Ahead of that pair, Danny Welbeck is picked to play off the wing but expected to supplement United’s urgent need for goals, while Adnan Januzaj is given a chance to relocate the magical form he was enjoying earlier in the season.

Wayne Rooney’s drifting from the number 10 role can allow Kagawa to exploit the space he leaves while Van Persie is picked to lead the line with the need for a big game from the Dutchman looming large.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.