Champions League Preview – Manchester United host Swiss side Basel while City face German giants Bayern Munich

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent

Manchester United and Manchester City will look to kick start their European campaigns on Tuesday after both sides drew their opening games.

City’s first game in the Champions League resulted in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad with Napoli, whilst United were held by the same scoreline in Portugal against Benfica.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s team host Swittzerland outfit Basel and Roberto Mancini takes his side to the Allianz Arena to take on in-form Bayern Munich.

United are heavy favourites to comfortably see off their opponents, despite Basel’s opening 2-1 victory over Champions League debutants Otelul Galati two weeks ago.

The reigning Swiss Super League champions currently sit fourth in their domestic league following a 1-1 draw at FC Thun on Saturday.

United – three time winners of Europe’s biggest prize – will want to return to winning ways following a 1-1 draw at Stoke on Saturday.

Stoke more than deserved their point at the weekend and the match will probably have left Ferguson with more questions than answers.

Injuries are taking their toll on the United squad at the moment, with Wayne Rooney sidelined with a hamstring problem and Javier Hernandez also out after suffering a dead leg.

The two attackers join Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley, Rafael, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans on the sidelines.

Danny Welbeck could return to contention following a short spell in the treatment room while comeback king Michael Owen could also feature.

City look to have a tougher night in store with Bayern in menacing form in the Bundesliga so far this season, winning six on the trot.

The German side have also kept nine consecutive clean sheets in all, and have a goal difference of +20 after just seven games.

However, City are still unbeaten themselves and will be boosted by their 2-0 victory over Everton at the weekend.

The game saw the return of headline-grabbing striker Mario Balotelli to the scoresheet, although the Italian is suspended for the trip to Germany.

Balotelli’s suspension still leaves Mancini with three world-class forwards in Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Mancini can take confidence from Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes’ admission that the game is going to be a real challenge for his team.

He will do so without the injured Adam Johnson and the unregistered Owen Hargreaves who misses the chance to face the team where he won his first Champions League title in 2001.

Following the draw with Napoli, City will need to get something out of this game in order to maintain their challenge in a difficult group.


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