Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will start tomorrow’s second-leg quarter-final in Germany, and has even bet a glass of beer on it happening.
Rooney missed United’s 4-0 away victory at Newcastle United on Saturday because of a toe injury picked up against Bayern in the first-leg last week, but is now expected to play having trained with the Reds on Tuesday.
United drew 1-1 with Bayern last week to quash popular opinion that they would be on the end of a thumping by the German Champions. Rooney’s delivery from a corner was met by defender Nemanja Vidic to open the scoring, before Bastian Schweinsteiger levelled for Munich just eight minutes later.
There has been much speculation about the fitness of several Bayern players heading in to tomorrow’s match, with Guardiola facing as many as six injuries and suspensions to his first-team squad.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez will not feature in the second-leg having picked up cautions at Old Trafford last week, while Thiago Alcantara, Diego Contento, Xherdan Shaqiri and second-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke are all side-lined with injury.
Bayern still host an array of depth and talent, but coach Pep Guardiola believes Wayne Rooney is also one of the world’s best players, and went as far as betting a glass of beer that he will start tomorrow night.
"Rooney is going to play, 100 per cent. He is going to play, I bet you a big big glass of beer." He said in his pre-match press conference.
"He is a big player, one of the best I have seen in my career."
United flew out to Germany after an early morning training session in Manchester on Tuesday morning, with Rooney taking full part.
The Reds will now need their talisman at his very best tomorrow night as they look to complete the unthinkable prospect of knocking Bayern Munich out of the Champions League.
‘United must score, they always score’ was an utterance that went down in football folk law when they faced Bayern in the final in 1999, and they must do exactly that to have any chance on Tuesday.