Manchester United star: It's unfortunate Thiago won't be playing

Bayern Badge

Juan Mata is unhappy regarding international teammate missing out, but really shouldn't be.

Juan Mata will be watching from the stands when United take on Bayern Munich, as he is cup-tied and ineligible for the competition.

Another Spaniard who will be only viewing rather than playing is Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who was linked with a summer switch to United.

He instead signed for the German champions, and after an injury hit start has proven a key player over recent months.

Last week he and Bayern were hit by the news of an injury to the midfielder, meaning he faced up to eight weeks on the sidelines.

While this is clearly of benefit to United's chances of progression in the quarter-final ties, United star Juan Mata wrote in his weekly blog that he is upset for his countryman.

"Unfortunately, Thiago Alcántara will miss the tie. He is a good footballer; we won together the under-21 European cup in Denmark in 2011, a tournament that brings me great memories. I hope Thiago recovers as soon as possible of the injury he suffered."

As well as compassion for a friend, there is one particular reason Mata spells out why he would not be fussed should Thiago have been fit, and that is he feels United should hold no fear.

"Bayern is a massive opponent, but United has never feared any rival. I will be supporting my team-mates from the stands once more. We are going to try to win the Champions League but Bayern has a superb squad. We must play a very good game in Old Trafford."

Thiago being out is not hugely consequential for Bayern despite his clear quality. They have midfield riches in Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Javi Martinez and Philip Lahm. each of who would drastically improve the United squad.

The loss of Mata to United is likely to be felt more hugely than Thiago is to the current Champions League holders.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch