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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 08:26 UK

Van Gaal confident Bayern can shackle Wayne Rooney

Uefa Champions League - Bayern Munich v Manchester United
Venue: Allianz Arena Date: Tuesday, 30 March Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, Sky Sports

Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney
Rooney has scored 33 goals this season

Coach Louis van Gaal is confident his Bayern Munich side can shackle striker Wayne Rooney when they play host to Manchester United on Tuesday.

Rooney has scored 33 goals this season and ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg, Van Gaal said: "He is hard to mark out of the game.

"We can manage as we also have quality. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his players should be scared of that.

"I never have fear and my players don't have any fear either."

However, Ferguson is optimistic England forward Rooney can continue his superb run of form in the match against Bayern.

"Rooney has had an exceptional season and has elevated himself to one of the world's best players," he stated. "He's been unbelievable this season and I hope it continues on Tuesday.

Strong in the back and strong as a team, and we look very strong now

Sir Alex Ferguson

"I think to score away from home is a big advantage and we must try to do that."

As well as lavishing praise on Rooney, Ferguson pinpointed the importance of Nemanja Vidic, Edwin van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand to his side.

"We've matured as a team in Europe," added Ferguson, whose side have won their last seven games, are undefeated in their last 17 Champions League away fixtures and have won all four European games away from Old Trafford this season. "We understand how to play in Europe.

"There have been some fantastic challenges in those 17 games but we accepted the challenge of the weaknesses away from home in our game some years back. We have addressed them properly now.

"I think with the return of Vidic, Ferdinand and Van der Sar you can see the solidity now, the experience, and it is making a massive difference. Strong in the back and strong as a team, and we look very strong now."

Former Barcelona coach Van Gaal was in the Nou Camp when injury-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave United a dramatic win over Bayern in the 1999 final, the only time the English club have beaten their German rivals in a European tie.

606: DEBATE
WTGL

"It was incredible. I still find it incredible," recalled Van Gaal. "I was in the stadium and I remember what a high intensity occasion it was.

"It was fascinating to watch, although I was not at Bayern Munich then. Now I don't think I would find it so good."

While admitting United were favourites to progress to the semi-finals, Van Gaal suggested Bayern were capable of pulling off a surprise over the two-legged quarter-final, with the second tie to be played at Old Trafford on 7 April.

"We can surprise every team, I believe that," said Van Gaal. "Bayern are not yet a top-level team like Manchester but we can achieve that level for a game."



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see also
Bayern Munich 2-1 Man Utd
30 Mar 10 |  Europe
Ferguson defends Vidic over clash
29 Mar 10 |  Bolton
Arsenal draw favourites Barcelona
19 Mar 10 |  Europe
Bayern fear Rooney - Beckenbauer
24 Mar 10 |  Football


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