UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester United vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Updated: September 11, 2013
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Both David Moyes and Sami Hyypiä are green horns in the Champions League tournament. However, Manchester United’s determination to redeem itself after a poor finish last season and their seemingly invincible strength, there is a high possibility for Moyes and his men to dominate the match. As a result, online bookies pick Manchester United as clear favorites of the tournament.


Manchester United

Expectations are high for Manchester United’s new head honcho, David Moyes as he makes a grand debut in the Champions League tournament. Under his management, supporters expect the club to redeem itself and bring home the silverware to Old Trafford.


Last season, the Red Devils had an early exit after a controversial red card call forced Sir Alex Ferguson to play with 10 men. The lack of reinforcements in the pitch prompted the club to throw in the white towel, while Real Madrid walked away triumphantly.


The pressure is pressed against Moyes, who now has the chance to add an international trophy under his belt.


Bayer Leverkusen

Like Moyes, Sami Hyypiä will also debut into the Champions League. The club earned their way to the competition via taking the 3rd spot in Bundesliga last season.


On a closer look, the tournament is nothing new to Hyypiä. The player-turned-manager was a part of Liverpool squad, which won the title in 2005. Liverpool won against Milan on penalties. However, playing is different from coaching, The latter goes beyond physical strength and technical abilities. Yet, knowing that Hyypiä has already experienced the Champions League atmosphere, his experience in the pitch is a key factor in helping the club emerge victorious in the competition.


The verdict: Manchester United dominates the first leg

The upcoming encounter is not the first for both clubs. Bayer and the Red Devils have already met during the 2001/02 tournament. By virtue of away goals, Manchester United snatched the victory away from Bayer.


Despite of Moyes’ novice experience in the tournament, Man U’s new boss has several trophies under his belt. The most recent one is the FA Community Shield Cup. Moyes’ ability to clinch domestic trophies will be his best weapon in the tournament and this is something that Hyypiä should watch out for,


Likewise, Hyypiä should be wary of Robin Van Persie, who scored the most number of goals in the Premier League last season. Expect the striker to burn the net with goals. Moreover, Van Persie’s capabilities are at par with other top-caliber players such as Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar.
As for Bayer’s side, they are regarded as the match’s minnows. One of their most trustworthy players, Andy Schurrle jumped into the transfer bandwagon and is now playing for Chelsea.


Nevertheless, Man U’s focus not take their eyes off of Heung-Min Son (who just rejected Manchester United’s offer), Stefan Kießling and Sidney Sam.


Bayer can compete in the Champions League, there is no doubt about that. However, in terms of staying longer, it is evident that Manchester United is in a better form to do it.


Match Date: 17 Septmeber 2013 (local time)

Venue: Old Trafford




Image Source: Marketing Week