herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Fergie -- we must score in Munich

MANCHESTER United boss Alex Ferguson will give his squad a history lesson in his final team-talk before tonight's Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich in Germany - and then tell his players to go for goals.

United are in Munich for the first leg of the quarter-final tie, and it's the Germans who have injury worries as key men Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are doubts, while Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney are fit to start for the English champions.

Ferguson says he will pick his team on the basis that Ribery and Robben will start, presuming that their 'injuries' are part of the mind games from Bayern boss Louis van Gaal. And it will be an attacking side as nabbing a goal in Munich is vital to the United cause.

"Scoring away from home gives you a big advantage, we must try to do that," said Ferguson, who reached back to his own coaching history -- and his first major managerial success, the 1983 European Cup Winners Cup win -- to underline the point.

"When I came here with Aberdeen in '83 we drew 0-0 and everybody was delighted, apart from me. I just sensed the danger.

"Although we managed to go through, Bayern scored twice on our ground. So scoring tonight is going to be important," added Ferguson, proud of the fact that his side have not lost in their last 16 away games in Europe.

"Our away record has been fantastic. It's an indication of the team's maturity and their understanding of how to play in Europe.

"We've had some big challenges in those 16 games. A few years ago we addressed the weaknesses in our game away from home and accepted that challenge.

"But you cannot forget the record of Bayern in Europe. We are playing history and with teams with history there is a certain pride. We have to contend with that."

French international Ribery expects to prove his fitness in time to face United and he feels that the German club can come out on top.

"The whole world sees us losing but I think we have a great chance. We have a team good enough to believe in," Ribery said.

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