Last Tuesday, Bayern Munich won their 23rd Bundesliga title in record fashion having accumulated 77pts with nine games remaining.
Meanwhile, some 700 miles away, current defending Premier League champions Manchester United succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to inner-city rivals Manchester City, earning them their sixth loss at Old Trafford in the league this season and positioning them in at a disappointing seventh place.
The two sides face one another in arguably the biggest tie of this year’s Champions Leage quarter-finals on Tuesday and whilst this fixture would have proved to be a mouth-watering prospect only a year ago, the reality is that United face an uphill struggle against the reigning champions of Europe.
This past weekend, United ran out 4-1 victors in their league clash against Aston Villa having fallen behind in the early stages of the game. United now turn their undivided attention to the Champions League as their main priority and they head into the game without Robin van Persie & Tom Cleverley (knee) and Rafael da Silva joins them on the sidelines following his leg injury sustained on Saturday.
Patrice Evra will serve his one-match suspension with Alexander Büttner set to replace him and Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans & Rio Ferdinand all trained on Monday afternoon to boost United's defence ahead of this clash.
Bayern suffered injury woes of their own this weekend, but I'd imagine just about every other club in the world would love to have these so-called problems. Bayern faced Hoffenheim in a league game that ended in a 3-3 te with Hoffenheim halting Bayern's 19-game winning streak.
Spanish maestro Thiago sustained an injury to his knee ligaments and has been ruled out for the game on Tuesday. However, with Bayern's luxurious choice in midfielders, I'm sure they will be able to bring someone of equal quality into the fold.
Is there really no hope for United?
We have seen stranger things happen before. This season alone, most Premier League clubs have gotten the upper hand against their German counterparts, with Chelsea and United beating Schalke (fourth in Bundesliga) and Bayer Leverkusen (third in Bundesliga) respectively both home and away.
Also, City beat Bayern back in the group stage. Furthermore in the knockout stages, Arsenal proved to be the better team against Bayern in the opening stages at the Emirates Stadium until Mesut Ozil missed a penalty and Wojciech Szczesny was dismissed.
With that in mind, not all is lost for United as history could repeat itself. You would only need to look back at the 2010 quarter-finals and the 1999 final between United and Bayern.
Of course, United’s 1999 treble-winning side were different and more complete than United’s team this season, but in both events United came up short but were able to come away with a respectable result.
In '99, they overturned a 1-0 deficit in the dying stages whereas in 2010 they were knocked out on a crucial away goal that was converted in spectacular fashion by Arjen Robben.
The United fans have suffered dearly this season from seeing their side regress from champions to Europa League contenders in the space of a year.
Could defeat spell the end of Moyes?
Absolutely not. United are a club with tradition and history. Moyes may not have been the fan’s first choice to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson, but he was chosen by the great man himself and has been assured time after time that he will be given plenty of chance to improve.
United’s transfer activities have proven to be questionable and disappointing to say the least so far, but Moyes has signalled his intent to get things right this time round and do business as soon as possible.
With Nemanja Vidic on his way to Inter, many other players have been rumouted to be on their way out of Old Trafford. However, United must do business the right way this time raound in order to not repeat last season's embarrassment in the transfer window.
The last word
It has been four years since their last emphatic encounter at Old Trafford - with United victors on the night only to exit the completion on away goals - but this time around we may well witness a different encounter with a Bayern team hungry for success looking to tear into any team that stands between them and the Champions League troph.
Then there's United, who have been beaten on several occasions this season at home with four key players unavailable including the ineligible Juan Mata.
United currently look to be a wounded animal, easy prey for Bayern to feast upon. But is a wounded animal the most dangerous one? We shall see..
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