United always favourites at Old Trafford, says defiant Giggs

MANCHESTER United midfielder Ryan Giggs insists his club are too big to ever be labelled underdogs, even when Champions League holders Bayern Munich visit Old Trafford tonight.

With seven matches to spare the German giants have already been crowned Bundesliga champions and have lost just once in all competitions since Pep Guardiola succeeded Jupp Heynckes as manager.

In stark contrast United are enduring their most miserable Premier League campaign since its inception in 1992 with six home defeats surpassing the combined total of the past three seasons.

Yet they have won all four home matches in Europe this term and Giggs, 40, insists United can upset Bayern in their quarter-final first leg.

“As players we don’t see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Man United playing at home in the Champions League,” he said.

“These are the games you want to be involved in as a player and we will go out there and try to win.

“Pep Guardiola has taken over and added a few new players and they are a very strong team and favourites in most people’s eyes. But we are Manchester United, it’s at Old Trafford and we’ve seen so many great nights there, in Europe especially.”

Manager David Moyes will again be without injured striker Robin van Persie, while left-back Patrice Evra is suspended. There are fitness concerns too over defenders Jonny Evans, Rafael and Chris Smalling.

The former Everton boss will attempt to get the better of Guardiola as they go head to head for the first time and revealed such challenges make doing one of the most difficult jobs in English football so worthwhile.

“I am really looking forward to coming up against [Guardiola],” Moyes said. “I have no doubt I will be doing it many times in the future.

“I came in as an inexperienced manager in the Champions League, but we have done well and now we have the ultimate test in Bayern Munich.”

Bayern, who have reached three of the last four Champions League finals, are without defender Dante through suspension, while Diego Contento and Thiago Alcantara are out injured.

The teams last met in 2010 when Bayern triumphed on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

United memorably beat Bayern to win the trophy in 1999, with last-gasp goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

BRILLIANT BAYERN
■ Played in three of last four Champions League finals
■ Bundesliga champions with seven games to spare
■ Won 14 of their last 16 matches
■ Scored in 59 consecutive games