David Moyes’s men face the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Why couldn’t we spring a surprise? We all know anything is possible in football
United are out of the race for a top-four finish and have already been eliminated from the FA Cup, meaning Europe represents their only chance of silverware.
And Cerand reckons Moyes’s under-performing side could spring a surprise against Pep Guardiola’s men despite struggling under Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor all season.
“In many respects, United have got nothing to lose because everyone is expecting Bayern to not just win this tie, but win the whole competition,” Cerand wrote in his United Review column.
“But why couldn’t we spring a surprise? We all know anything is possible in football…we famously witnessed that against Bayern in ’99 on that unbelievable night in Barcelona.
“While this tie looks a very hard task for United, Bayern will know they’ll be in for a battle, both tonight and next Wednesday in Munich.”
• Bayern came out on top when the sides met at this same stage of the 2009/10 competition. In the first leg, Louis van Gaal’s men came from behind to win 2-1 after Franck Ribéry (77) and Ivica Olić (90+2) overturned a first-minute goal by Wayne Rooney.
• United raced into a 3-0 lead in the second leg – Darron Gibson (4) and Nani (7, 41) scoring – but were edged out on away goals after Olić (43) and Arjen Robben (74) hit back for Bayern. The home side played the last 40 minutes with ten men after Rafael’s red card.
• Five-time winners Bayern are looking for a third successive Uefa Champions League semi-final appearance while United, European champions three times, were last in the semi-finals in 2011.
• United have won all four home fixtures in this season’s competition – their best sequence since their triumphant 2007/08 campaign when they won six out of six.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news