Manchester United are never underdogs: Ryan Giggs can’t wait for a shot at Bayern Munich in Champions League

Ryan Giggs has dismissed the notion of Manchester United being underdogs ahead of tonight’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

Having just squeaked through the round-of-16 against an Olympiakos team that was regarded as one of the easiest possible draws, United now find themselves pitted against the reigning European champions.

However, despite Bayern’s formidable record this season, having already claimed the Bundesliga title and scoring at will, Giggs believes that his side will make full use of their home advantage.

“As players we don’t see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Man United playing at home in the Champions League and we can’t wait,” said the 40-year-old.

“Obviously Bayern are a fantastic team. They are the holders and are obviously a very strong team and probably favourites in most people’s eyes.

“But we are Manchester United, it is at Old Trafford and we have seen so many great nights in Europe especially.”

But for all of the Welshman’s bluster, the Reds have an unenviable task on their hands as they try to keep fighting on the final front in the search for silverware.

United’s German opponents have not been defeated since losing 3-2 to Manchester City in December and have scored 32 goals in their past ten games.

It is a startling run of form and one that Giggs acknowledged, but he refused to be drawn into negativity and declared that his side can still win the Champions League.

“Of course it is possible [for United to win the competition],” he said. “You need to play well, to get that little bit of luck which we didn’t have last year.

“Obviously Bayern are a fantastic team. They are the holders and are obviously a very strong team and probably favourites in most people’s eyes.

“These are the games that you want to be involved in as a player and we will go out there and try and win the game. It is going to be tough but it usually is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and we are confident.”

The Bayern fixture could prove to be the veteran’s final European appearance, with him due to make a decision on his future at the end of the season.

Facing the press alongside David Moyes, Giggs also moved to deny rumours that have been stirred up in recent weeks of a rift with the United helmsman.

“I don’t know where that’s come from,” he said. “The relationship is good. Of course you want to play all the time, but there’s obviously no problem with the manager.”

“The last game [Olympiakos two weeks ago] was probably my first for seven weeks, but you are not sulking. You just have to be ready to play your best for the team.”

Unlike Bayern, the English champions are not enjoying their football as of late, a 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday clouding the fact that they have only won half of their league games this campaign.

That victory did little other than temporarily paper over the cracks, and with Patrice Evra suspended and Rafael da Silva injured, Moyes faces the prospect of using Alexander Buttner to keep out Arjen Robben.

“We have defensive issues undoubtedly,” said Moyes. “I won’t be giving out my team today, certainly not to Bayern or to you. But we will, as everyone is aware, have to make one or two changes.”

Since the 1999 Champions League final, United have only beaten Bayern once in six meetings – and even that was not enough to stop them being knocked out on away goals – a run that Moyes hopes to break this evening.

“I think the pressure is equally balanced,” he said. “We want to win the game as much as Bayern. We go into the game knowing that, on our day, we are as good a side as any. We don’t show it often enough, but I have great belief in the players.”

Main image courtesy of Jason Cairnduff/Action Images, with thanks.

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