Since Juan Mata arrived through the gates of Old Trafford, Shinji Kagawa has seemingly slipped even further back in the Manchester United pecking order.

However, as David Moyes prepares his side for a crucial Champions League Round of 16 tie with Olympiacos tonight, the Red Devils boss should opt for the Japanese ace. 

Many will forget that United's best performance of the season so far - their 5-0 demolition of German outfit Bayer Leverkusen - in which Kagawa played an instrumental role in the victory. 

The European scene suits Kagawa. The playmaker has struggled to match the physical needs of plying his trade in England's elite division, but in Europe Kagawa can thrive and show his best form. 

He's fresh and must be ready to prove that he's worthy competition to Mata and Co. Moyes needs his big players to step up as his Manchester United side look towards the Champions League to save their season. 

And Kagawa must step up - before it's too late. Mata has proved he can fit in at Old Trafford in just a couple of weeks. His positioning against Crystal Palace in which he moved around and interlinked with both Rooney and Januzaj was commended by many. Now Kagawa must follow suit. 

Moyes should set his side up just as he did against Palace this past weekend. With Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick marshalling in front of the back four, the likes of Kagawa, Januzaj and Rooney should be given the license to roam free in Greece. 

In Attack is where Manchester United are strongest and against Olympiacos tonight, the Red Devils' quartet of forward stars can edge the side towards the quarter finals. 

It's time for Kagawa to stand up in a Manchester United shirt and his big moment could be upon us. He would have watched Mata and Co. gain the plaudits at Selhurst Park, now he must show what he can do. 

Do you think Moyes will give Kagawa a start tonight or will he play more defensively? Feel free to leave a comment below! 

Topics:
Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa
Juan Mata
UEFA Champions League
Football