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Ex-Red Devil Carroll confident Olympiacos have 'belief' to upset United


Roy Carroll. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Roy Carroll. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Roy Carroll. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Roy Carroll. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA


Roy Carroll. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

FORMER Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll believes his current club Olympiacos can cause a huge Champions League upset in Athens tonight.

Carroll ended his United career and now, after a decade that has seen him move from London to Glasgow and Denmark to Greece, the 36-year-old is planning their downfall.

The Northern Ireland international may have lost his place as the Greek champions' number one this season but in recent weeks he has become the focal point of the dressing room as teammates and staff alike pick his brains about United's dramatic slump in form.

United have lost 10 times this season in all competitions, and Carroll is convinced that his current side can add to that tally.


"Manchester United are having a bad time of it at the moment and our players have belief in themselves. We believe we can do well in these two games, and we feel we can get at them," Carroll said. United boss David Moyes has picked a different starting XI in every one of his 40 matches since taking over last summer.

It is nearly a decade since Carroll's last appearance in a United shirt, his final action being a failed attempt to keep out Patrick Vieira's match-winning penalty for Arsenal in the 2005 FA Cup final.

But the status of Moyes's side in world football is such that even now, 2,000 miles away in Athens, he is treated like a hero by flocks of United supporters who have never even been to Manchester. "I've been away from United for nearly 10 years now but anyone who has played for the club is loved in Greece," Carroll said.

"United are huge in Greece. You have no idea how big they are until you come out here. The whole country has been buzzing since we were drawn against Manchester United. Olympiacos are 20 points clear at the top of the league so this match has been the focus. We are ready for the test."

While Carroll and co are unbeaten in the league, cruising to their fourth successive title, United have endured a difficult campaign under Moyes.

The former Everton boss has overseen landmark losses against Newcastle, Everton, Stoke, Swansea and West Brom since replacing Alex Ferguson.


It is a dismal run which included six defeats in eight games between New Year's Day and February 1.

"I have been surprised by their form this season," said Carroll.

"It's nearly the same squad which won the league last year but a new manager was always going to be a huge change, no matter who they appointed. Results haven't been going well, or the way you would expect, and it is tough for them.

"A few of our squad were watching the Fulham game on TV recently and when United scored twice to lead 2-1 you expected them to see that out.

"It was a big surprise that Fulham equalised late on. Last year, United win that game."

Carroll believes former Barcelona and Real Madrid forward Javier Saviola will now be a key player for Olympiacos.

He will link up with 21-year-old Michael Olaitan in attack, a young Nigerian who has blossomed, scoring seven times in 10 games in 2014.

The former United goalkeeper has also backed the club's intense home support to make a crucial impact tonight. "The fans here are mad, especially on Champions League nights," he said. "It's fantastic. The stadium holds 32,000 but I've played on nights where it sounds like 60-70,000 fans here. The United players will have played in Turkey, places like that, but they are in for a big surprise."