Beating Bolton four nil away was a terrific was to start off the current set of fixtures but a hefty main course now awaits us. Twenty years ago, the final games in March saw us play Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Coventry - we were also five years away from our last trophy. As such, there can be no complaints against facing two of the richest sides on the planet three times in eight days. This is what it's all about and we are lucky to be here. How we will fare is another question.
Most of us were dumbstruck last season by how well Ferguson rotated the squad, putting us on the verge of a potential quintuple. The juggling was supreme up until a horrific night in Rome that seemed a game too far. This week Fergie is going to have to pick his teams with the utmost care.
My prayers have been answered by the return of fit versions of VDS, Rio and Vidic and one hopes that all of this hoo-ha about Rooney’s knee turns out to be just a load of rubbish. I expect United to play at least the first two fixtures in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Valencia looping balls into Rooney to bury. With both matches my fear lies with the speed of the opponents' front men.
Louis Van Gaal is a wily old manager and you can completely ignore the platitudes he has been sprouting in the press . The man has an ego the size Jupiter and will be looking to make his mark against United. The trouble we had against Wolves, and early on in Milan, will have been noted and G.Nev will need shielding by a dogged Fletcher or Park in both games.
Louis Van Gaal and Robben
Robben (another nominee for the Jose Mourinho Ego of the Millenium Award) is darn tricky to play against and we will need Evra to be at the top of his game to keep him in check.
With all due respect, Bayern were a heavy side of lucky against Fiorentina but their league results indicate that they are gearing up for the United game more than any other. That seemed to work pretty well for Inter and we should be more wary than the form books suggests.
Having the second leg at home is often regarded as an advantage but after what will no doubt be a brutal slugging with Chelsea on Saturday, Fergie will want to be in the driving seat by the time things get to OT. I thoroughly expect United to go for it in the Allianz arena, alas, I also expect us to concede.
Perhaps some people are happy with their clubs playing the classic ‘score-and-consolidate’ variety of European football. As a United fan it is alien to me. In advance of the next eight days I have booked in with a heart specialist next Thursday who will be able to tell me whether I am still technically alive or not. By that time I hope United are still kicking along too.
Allez les rouges.
To catch up with what the Bayern fans think see Susie Schaaf’s blog here