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Friday 29 August 2014

Bayern Munich v Manchester United – The key battles

Published 08/04/2014 | 14:50

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Patrice Evra and Arjen Robben will once again cross paths
Patrice Evra and Arjen Robben will once again cross paths

Ahead of the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, here are three key battles which may decide the fate of Manchester United and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

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ARJEN ROBBEN v PATRICE EVRA

Alex Buttner deputised well for Evra when he was suspended for the first leg, but this is a night for experienced heads so Evra should return at full-back. The Frenchman will have to be at his best to deny Robben.

The Dutchman is a pacy, clever winger capable of beating his marker down the flank or cutting inside and firing on goal. He is enjoying the best form of his career at Bayern, for whom he scored the winning goal in last year's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

JEROME BOATENG v WAYNE ROONEY

Rooney looks set to start after overcoming an injury he sustained in the first leg. With Robin van Persie injured and Juan Mata cup-tied, Rooney will be the main focus of the United attack. Pep Guardiola showered praise on the striker at his pre-match press conference, describing him as one of the best frontmen he had ever seen.

With Javi Martinez suspended, Guardiola will look to Boateng to try to stop Rooney. The German endured a miserable solitary season for Manchester City, but he has found his feet at Bayern, where he is a first-team regular.

MARIO MANDZUKIC v NEMANJA VIDIC

Mandzukic was left out of the Bayern starting XI for the first leg, with Guardiola preferring to deploy Thomas Muller as a false nine, but the Croatian will be restored to the team on Wednesday. Mandzukic's position is under threat thanks to the impending arrival of Robert Lewandowski so he will be out to impress.

Vidic wants to end his final season at United with a trophy, but he has shown signs that he is past his best in recent times. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez had little trouble getting past the Serb when Liverpool beat United 3-0 recently.

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