MANCHESTER - Ryan Giggs has warned Bayern Munich to expect a ferocious assault from Manchester United in tonight's Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side trail 2-1 from last week's first leg in Munich and only a 1-0 victory or a two-goal winning margin will be enough to book a semi-final showdown with Lyon or Bordeaux. After Saturday's home defeat against Chelsea surrendered the initiative in the Premier League title race, the Champions League could be United's only hope of adding more silverware to the League Cup won in February.
With leading scorer Wayne Rooney in a race against time to recover from an ankle injury suffered in Germany, it would be understandable if an air of despondency had descended on United's training ground this week.
But veteran midfielder Giggs has seen United emerge unscathed from similar predicaments before and the Welsh star is confident his team will thrive on the do-or-die nature of the clash. While Old Trafford can be a subdued stadium for mundane league matches, on big European occasions it is a far more hostile arena.
Giggs knows United have often fed off the extra energy of a raucous capacity crowd and he expects a repeat tonight.
"You have to give credit to Bayern, who made it very difficult for us," Giggs said. "But I am confident that we can raise our game at home. We have done it many times before and we'll have to do it again."
Bayern surprised United with their unrelenting pressure last week and midfielder Darren Fletcher believes the key to eliminating the Germans will be matching their work rate. He said: "It's not insurmountable. Although we were disappointed to have lost two late goals, 2-1 isn't the worst result in the world. We know what we have to do at home. We learned a lot about Bayern and ourselves and we'll take all that into the match.
"The Bayern midfielders pressed the ball quite quickly and got numbers behind the ball. We knew Bayern would have a lot of possession and we'll be looking to do the same."
United's cause would be helped massively if 34-goal striker Rooney returns from his ankle injury.
Bayern travel to Manchester boosted by Arjen Robben's return after he missed the first leg and Saturday's league win at Schalke with a calf injury.
Along with France playmaker Franck Ribéry, Dutch winger Robben is Bayern's best chance of snatching a priceless away goal. Coach Louis Van Gaal will be hoping centre-back Daniel van Buyten recovers from an injury against Schalke. - Sapa-AFP