Patrice Evra says he is “confident” Manchester United can cancel out Bayern Munich’s away goal at the Allianz Arena and rescue their season in a manner akin to Chelsea FC in the European Champions League in 2012.
The French left-back missed last week’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford due to suspension and has expressed determination to be fit for Wednesday’s tie, despite pulling off during the second-half of Saturday’s 4-0 win in the Premier League at Newcastle FC.
“I think I will be fit,” he told the club’s website. “I received a knock and I was injured as well before Aston Villa with my knee so I will try my best to be fit.”
Evra however cannot explain why the 20-time English champions have failed to retain the title they last won in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season, but have fared better in Europe under new manager David Moyes, whose only previous experience in Europe came in the qualifiers as Everton boss.
He admits United are not favourites against the Bundesliga champions elect, who lost their 53-game unbeaten league run at Augsburg in the weekend, but insists the ‘Red Devils’ could rescue their current campaign by surprising themselves and others in Munich.
“In the Champions League, we have played good,” the defender added. “We are confident and it looks like we are all up [for it] more than in the league and in the cup. I know it is not professional to say that but it is the truth.
“We look more like we’re on it, we look more like we have the Manchester United spirit when we play in the Champions League.
“I wish I had the answer why, it’s difficult and really painful. I don’t have any answer to it. Sometimes you have to let the storm pass and make sure we are ready for Bayern and make sure we are ready for next year as well.
“We always believe when you play for Manchester United; it is not because you win 4-0 against Newcastle that we start to believe we can win against Bayern. Before the first leg, everyone was expecting us to lose 5-0 or something like that but, in the end, we drew. I think it is not a good result but it is not a bad result because they scored an away goal. I’m confident we can score an away goal at Bayern. The team is confident and when you play for Manchester United you have to be confident, even when sometimes you have a difficult moment.
Evra nonetheless sees similarities between United’s form this season and that of Chelsea who were Champions of Europe in 2012.
Evra stated: “All season it has reminded me of the Chelsea season [that they won the Champions League in 2012] when they were not playing well in the league. I keep this in my mind. I am not saying we are going to do the same but sometimes you have to be positive so why not? You have to believe.”