With German football enjoying a resurgence, and providing both teams in last season's Champions League final (Bayern Munich eventually beat rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley), the smart money in Germany says that there will never be a better time to face Manchester United - especially as Bayer Leverkusen themselves are on a fine run, sitting in 3rd place in the Bundesliga with 4 wins out of 5.
German newspaper Bild quotes Liverpool legend Dietmar 'Didi' Hamann, who said there's a prevailing view in Germany that Manchester United will, at least in the short-term, suffer because of the retirement of previous boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who was the most experienced manager in European football when he stepped down at the end of last season.
'Now is the right time. United without Sir Alex lack the faith', Hamann said.
The German view appears to be a simple one: Manchester United manager David Moyes, whose sole experience managing in the Champions League came with Everton in 2005 - when Everton failed to qualify make the Group stages - is simply not Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United and their fans will clearly be hoping that this view of the club's current status filters down to the Bayer Leverkusen dressing room, as underestimating Manchester United at Old Trafford has been known to be costly in the past.
image: © Paolo Camera