Ryan Giggs is expecting a difficult match when Manchester United come up against Bayer Leverkusen in their opening Champions League group game on Tuesday evening.
Third in last season's Bundesliga to Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Leverkusen are managed by former Liverpool captain Sami Hypia.
The Champions League returns to Old Trafford for the first time since Real Madrid controversially put the Red Devils out of last year's competition at the first knockout stage.
And 39-year-old Giggs - who has turned out 134 times in the Champions League for United - is expecting a tough start to his side's 2013-14 campaign.
“They will be a tough test, that’s for sure,” said Giggs.
“German football is on a real high at the moment and last season’s final, with two German teams at Wembley, proves that."
“Bayern Munich have been terrific for a long time now and then the emergence of Dortmund has been really exciting."
"They play the game with so much energy and make life really difficult for you. A lot of people were blown away by them last season."
“At the moment, Germany has a lot of good young players coming through and a good national team that’s not only getting results but performing well and playing attractive football.”
Leverkusen finished only one point behind second-placed Dortmund last season and were the only team to beat runaway champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Elsewhere in Group A Real Sociedad - returning to the competition for the first time in nine years - host Ukranian Champions Shakhtar Donetsk.
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