Roo and Rio boost for United


MANCHESTER, March 29 – Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have both been passed fit for Manchester United's Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.The England duo missed Saturday’s 4-0 win at Bolton with bruised foot (Rooney) and groin (Ferdinand) injuries but they had both recovered sufficiently to join their team-mates on Monday morning’s flight from Manchester.

Also in the squad was Ryan Giggs, the only survivor from United’s memorable last-ditch win over the German giants in the 1999 final.

Late goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United snatch an unlikely 2-1 victory and memories of that night in Barcelona still burn brightly for Giggs.

"I can’t believe it is 11 years ago," he said. "It was one of the greatest nights of my life and for many fans too, this will bring back a lot of happy memories.

"We will settle for the same score as in 1999 too, but hopefully not leaving it as late as we did then."

That night remains the only time in seven encounters United have beaten Bavaria’s finest, the most recent encounter having come in 2001 when Bayern won both legs of a quarter-final meeting by a single goal.

"I am a little bit surprised about our overall record but it has always been tight," Giggs said. "It is usually difficult against German sides, and against the top ones even more so.

"We have won the European Cup three times. They have won it on four occasions so you are talking about two clubs with massive history; full of experience and full of great players so hopefully it’s going to be a great spectacle."

Giggs sees the current Bayern team as a more technical unit than the muscular side that dominated the 1999 final.

"The team we played against in 1999 was really powerful. It had strength all the way through," said Giggs.

"Now Bayern have a lot of trickery with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben (who is injured), and some other individual matchwinners.

"But our European record in recent times has been good and if we play to the best of our ability we really fancy ourselves."