Eight great reasons why Manchester United can beat Bayern Munich

After last week's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford Manchester United travel to Germany for their Champions League quarter-final still firmly in the tie.

Admittedly, the World, European and Bundesliga champions remain odds-on favourites to progress to the semi-finals on Wednesday night, but there are plenty of reasons for United fans to be optimistic against Bayern Munich.

1 - First-leg scoreline gives United the edge

Bastian Schweinsteiger's away goal at Old Trafford was a blow for United, with some suggesting a goalless stalemate would have been better than a 1-1 draw. However, statistics show that over the last five years in the Champions League knock-out stages teams that have drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg progress to the next round 53% of the time.

United were on the wrong end of such a result last season as they were eliminated by Real Madrid following a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. But famously in 1999 the Reds profited from that scoreline against Juventus in the semi-finals, winning in Turin en route to lifting the trophy in Barcelona.

2 - Balanced United

During the first leg David Moyes' side looked well drilled and organised throughout. It was hardly a Champagne performance but, on the back of the stale ale displays against Liverpool and Manchester City, it was a rare showing of unity this season.

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic offered something nearing the solidarity of old in central defence. Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia worked tirelessly in the wide positions and with Ryan Giggs patrolling the centre of midfield, United looked less rigid. Juan Mata's ineligibility in the Champions League looks to be a blessing in disguise with the team's cohesion seemingly better in his absence.
All of which culminated in the sort of desire and spirit that has been missing for large chunks of the season, and Moyes will surely line up similarly at the Allianz Arena.
3 - Bayern's home hoodoo against English clubs
Bayern have not beaten an English side in their last four games at the Allianz Arena.
Arsenal were victorious there last season and drew only last month, while during the group stages of this season's competition Manchester City overturned a two-goal deficit to win 3-2. Chelsea's penalty shoot-out triumph in the final in 2012 completes the sequence.
Even Bolton got a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena in the Uefa Cup in November 2007 while Norwich famously beat Bayern 2-1 in the Uefa Cup in 1993, although that was at the old Olympic Stadium in Munich.
The bad news for United is that they lost 2-1 on their only previous visit to the Allianz Arena in March 2010 but an early goal for the Reds on Wednesday night might affect the German giants psychologically.

4 - Banned Bayern
Schweinsteiger's red card at Old Trafford sees him miss out while Javi Martinez is also suspended following a yellow card in the first leg.
Schweinsteiger's box-to-box energy will surely be missed by Bayern, despite the embarrassment of riches at Pep Guardiola's displosal, as well as his experience and influence on such a big occasion.
Martinez's absence is softened by Dante's return from a ban but the Spanish defender's composure on the ball will be a loss to the hosts.
5 - United's away form
Despite the Reds' travails in the Premier League this season it may surprise you to know that Moyes' men actually have the division's best away record. Of the 57 points United have won this season, 33 of them have come away from Old Trafford.
United head to Bavaria on the back of a 4-0 win at Newcastle on Saturday. It was their fourth straight away victory in the league and a fifth successive clean sheet on their travels having drawn 0-0 at Arsenal prior to the current winning run.
And United returned from their last visit to Germany with their defence unbreached as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 during the group stages of this season's competition in November.

6 - No club has retained the Champions League
Bayern must create history if they are to keep the trophy. Many clubs, including Bayern, managed to successfully defended the old European Cup but it has never been done since the inception of the Champions League in 1992.
United defended it all the way to the final in 2009 before losing to Guardiola's Barcelona side. Ajax also did the same after their 1995 win but were beaten in the final by Juventus the following year.
Of course, with this being just the quarter-finals another club could deny Bayern if they were to progress. But if fate is conspiring against the Germans winning it this year then perhaps United can take advantage.
7 - Pep pipped in the past
Guardiola has suffered Champions League heartbreak in recent years when his side has been favourites to progress. Holders Barcelona were expected to reach the final in 2010 despite a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Inter Milan but Jose Mourinho's team produced a defensive masterclass with 10 men to triumph in the Nou Camp.
Guardiola was also left dumbfounded two years later when 10-man Chelsea knocked out Barcelona despite only having 27 per cent of possession in the Nou Camp.
United had just 22 per cent of possession in the first leg against Bayern last week but it was still effective and Moyes may try and adopt a similar approach on Wednesday night.
8 - Miracles do happen
English clubs have form for salvaging a nightmare Premier League campaign by qualifying for the Champions League by winning it.
With United languishing in seventh place in the league, seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, it seems lifting the trophy in Lisbon next month will be the only way they are competiting in the competition next season.
Liverpool produced the 'Miracle of Istanbul' to win the 2005 Champions League after finishing fifth in the Premier League, while Chelsea finished sixth as they claimed their first European Cup against Bayern two years ago.
And it might be worth noting that Aston Villa won the European Cup in 1981, despite finishing 11th. The team Villa beat in the final? Bayern Munich.

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