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United eye season saver

Reuters
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Zenit hoping for a European miracle in Dortmund

Still reeling from their humbling by Liverpool in the Premier League, Manchester United return to Old Trafford on Wednesday needing to overturn a 2-0 Champions League deficit against Olympiakos to save their season.

United were synonymous with stirring comebacks under Moyes’s predecessor, Alex Ferguson, but they require a vast improvement on the insipid showing produced against Liverpool.

Worryingly for both United’s supporters and the club’s hierarchy, the team’s performances appear to be getting worse, despite strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both now operating at full capacity.

Moyes reported no fresh injuries after the defeat by Liverpool, although Spanish midfielder Juan Mata will drop out of the squad as he is cup-tied.

Olympiakos’s first-leg success unexpectedly proved the catalyst for a downturn in their domestic fortunes, as they slumped to consecutive defeats – their first of the season – against Panathinaikos and PAOK, before returning to winning ways.

Last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 4-2 win in the first leg against Zenit St Petersburg three weeks ago and Zenit have since sacked Italian coach Luciano Spalletti.

Dortmund are set to welcome back Germany winger Marco Reus from injury and playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan from suspension. Zenit, meanwhile, are at least near full-strength for the game.

If Zenit are to reach the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time, they must inflict a rare European home defeat on Klopp’s side.

Dortmund have won eight of their last nine CL home matches.Reuters


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