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Report: Guardiola targets central defence as United's weakness

Rio Ferdinand United

The Spaniard reportedly told his players in first-team training this morning that they were "faster" than United duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly told his players to target the Manchester United central defensive duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in tomorrow's UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg.

The report suggests the Spaniard chose to focus on the United stalwarts during his side's training sessions in the build-up to the encounter at the Allianz Arena this Wednesday.

BILD suggest Guardiola's exact words were: "You're quicker than Vidic and Ferdinand" as he seeks to find a way to combat United's threat from set pieces.

Both started in the first leg, with Vidic stooping to head home Wayne Rooney's corner while Bayern were also frustrated by some manful defending until Bastian Schweinsteiger grabbed what could be a crucial away goal with the equaliser.

But the report also suggests Guardiola has prepared in-depth for United's set piece deliveries, and the aerial presences of Ferdinand, Vidic, Marouane Fellaini and Danny Welbeck, by countering on David Moyes' side once they have turned over possession.

Guardiola was also quoted as saying: "We cannot block these players in a four against four, we need to outnumber them."

Therein lies the former Barcelona manager's reasoning for this ploy and he will hope the pace provided on the flanks by Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, as well as probable starter Mario Götze, will pose sufficient problems to United's defence.

The report also indicates Toni Kroos, heavily linked with a summer move to United, will start in Schweinsteiger's role at the base of the midfield, while Philipp Lahm will be in his more conventional role at right-back instead of Rafinha.

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