Champions League

Rooney to play through pain

2014-04-08 21:36
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

Munich - Manchester United's England striker Wayne Rooney is set to face holders Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final, second leg, aided by a pain-killing injection after he trained on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old missed United's 4-0 win at Newcastle United on Saturday due to a toe injury, sparking fears that he could be forced to sit out Wednesday's return leg at Munich's Allianz Arena with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after the first match.

However, he took part in a light workout at United's Carrington training centre on Tuesday morning prior to the squad's departure for Germany, appearing to have no adverse reaction.

United manager David Moyes said Rooney is determined to play in a match they need to win to keep alive their hopes of any silverware this season.

"He hasn't trained the whole week, but he's willing to have an injection before the game," said Moyes during Tuesday's press conference in Munich.

"We haven't done anything wrong medically.

"He's a character. If he's determined to play, we'll let him."

Rooney said that he had suffered no reaction during the training session.

"Good training session with the lads ahead of the Bayern Munich match," Rooney wrote on his Facebook page.

"It's a massive game for us against a top side but we'll be going in confident and looking to progress into the semi-finals."

Other injury worries Patrice Evra (knee), Ryan Giggs (groin) and Ashley Young (hand) also took part in Tuesday's final training session before the flight to Germany.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola is certain Rooney will play.

"He will play, I am 100 percent sure and I am willing to bet a large glass of beer on it," the Spaniard quipped.

"This is one of the best players I've seen play and the big players do not want to miss this type of game."

Rooney's presence in Munich will be a boost for United with Dutch striker Robin van Persie sidelined with a sprained knee and Spanish star Juan Mata cup-tied.

Bayern have a few concerns of their own with Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger and Spain's Javi Martinez both suspended, while attacking midfielder Thiago Alcantara is injured.

Bayern haven't won in their last three matches, and suffered their first Bundesliga defeat in 18 months when they were beaten 1-0 at Augsburg on Saturday.

Guardiola, who took over from Jupp Heynckes last June, has guided Bayern to the Bundesliga title already but admitted failing to get past United would not be good for him.

"If we don't reach the semi-finals, that would be a big mistake by the coach," he said.

"I'm aware of that, I knew it from the beginning after Bayern won the treble last season."

Guardiola said Wednesday's match will 'make or break' Bayern's season, but he expects them to be in Friday's semi-finals draw.

"It's now life or death and we'll still be alive on Thursday," said Guardiola.

"Of course, it is very important for a big club like this to be in the semi-finals."

The Spaniard dismissed both Bayern's loss to Augsburg and United's struggling Premier League form when asked if either were a yardstick for the Munich clash.

"This is a different competition," said Guardiola.

"They (United) are fighting for a place in the Europa League, we are already German champions.

"Our goal for the last two, three weeks has been (to beat) Manchester United."


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