Elber not convinced by Manchester United: Only Real Madrid can beat Bayern

David Moyes’s men will be hoping to book their place in the last four but the former Brazil striker is expecting the Bavarians to dominate once again

By Christoph Kockeis

Former Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber is adamant that Manchester United are not capable of defeating the Champions League favourites in Wednesday’s crunch clash at the Allianz Arena.

David Moyes’s side held the Bavarian giants in the first leg of their quarter-final tie and know that victory in Bavaria will guarantee them a spot in the last four.

Bayern, though, are a formidable force on home soil and Elber believes that Real Madrid are the only side capable of beating them. The Brazilian told Goal: “Bayern are stronger than last year.

“We have to wait for the match against Manchester United, but I claim there is only one team in the Champions League that can beat Bayern and that is Real Madrid.”

Although they took the lead through Nemanja Vidic shortly after half-time, United were on the back foot for much of the first leg at Old Trafford and Elber is again expecting Bayern, who quickly equalised through Bastian Schweinsteiger, to dominate possession and territory.

“You try it from the left, you try it from the right, you try it from the middle,” he said of FCB’s approach. “You do everything.

“And then there comes a time when you think, ‘And now what else shall I do to create a chance to score?’

“You start to despair. You try to do it in one-on-one situations, you press and you don’t let them breathe and be ready for their turnovers.

“Bayern will attack that way on Wednesday and get lots of chances. I am convinced of that.”

Bayern scored their equaliser soon after Mario Mandzukic was was introduced as a substitute in the first leg, and Elber has urged Pep Guardiola to name the Croatian in his starting line-up.

“For me it is clear; Bayern are better with Mandzukic,” he declared. “I like this guy. From very little he makes very much.

“In Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery he has top-class wingers, who always go into duels. Then he gets away from the defenders and gets onto their passes.

“With him on the pitch Bayern’s play is less predictable. Even though he gets fewer chances against opponents who play very cautiously.

“An early goal would mean so much. That way Bayern will have more spaces [to exploit] and could play their usual game.”

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