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Predicted Manchester United XI to play Olympiakos - Rafael to return after concussion

Rafael 2

Match to be played on Tuesday February 25 2014 at 19:45 GMT. Venue: Karaiskakis Stadium, Greece.

Manchester United will be full of confidence as they jet off to Greece for the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie against Olympiakos.

David Moyes has a relatively healthy squad of players to choose from and several key stars in good form as United embark on a quest to win the competition, which could be the only way they get into the Champions League next season.

Here’s the side Moyes could go with tomorrow.

GK – David De Gea

De Gea will retain his place. He was superb in the game against Crystal Palace doing everything necessary when he was called on to make saves and help the defence.

RB – Rafael

Rafael will come back into the side if he’s not suffering any further effects of concussion. He offers good pace down that side of the pitch and should be up for the fight defensively.

CB – Chris Smalling

Rafael’s inclusion would allow Chris Smalling to move into the centre of defence in place of Rio Ferdinand. It’s a position Smalling has played well in throughout his career so far.

CB – Nemanja Vidic

Vidic has a big role to play in this game. He’ll be the player everyone looks to if things don’t go according to plan and he needs to lead by example.

LB – Patrice Evra

Evra was world class in the game against Palace and that should make him a very confident and determined player for this game. His width out on the left is always important for United.

RM – Antonio Valencia

The fact United will have to counter attack during this game means that Valencia will likely come back into the team. His pace can be a real asset out on the right throughout.

CM – Michael Carrick

Carrick will be one of the first names that goes down on the team sheet for David Moyes. He’ll occupy space, cut off angles and make it difficult for Olympiakos to play.

CM – Tom Cleverley

Cleverley is a player Moyes has shown a lot of faith in so far this season. He’ll be fresh, he plays simple passes and protects the ball which is what Moyes will be looking for.

AM – Wayne Rooney

Expect to see Rooney adopting a position behind the main striker and at the top of the midfield. He will have to drop deep during the game if United are under pressure but it’s a role he’s used to.

LM – Ashley Young

As much as Adnan Januzaj is a match winner for United, Moyes could go with the safe option of Ashley Young. He won’t want to get caught out down the left with no guarantee that Januzaj would cover for Evra.

ST – Robin Van Persie

The Dutchman’s job is simply to press and harass the defence, getting into good positions and trusting the midfield to set him up with good chances to score.

image: © Andrea Sartorari

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