With United having been drawn against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, we take a closer look at the German giants...
Season so far Bayern have been in sensational form during the current campaign. They are on a 50-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, winning 23 and drawing two of their fixtures in 2013/14, and they sit comfortably clear at the top of the domestic table. They could even repeat their historic treble of last season; they have reached the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal (the German Cup) and flew through the Champions League group stages with five wins from six, placing them as competition favourites. Pep Guardiola's men eased past Arsenal in the previous round, winning 3-1 on aggregate having already done the damage in a 2-0 first-leg victory.
Star man While most top sides have one player who stands out above the rest, Bayern have star quality all over the pitch. With homegrown talents such as Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos added to big names like Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez, there are danger men everywhere you look.
The manager Most people would find it tough to replicate the form of a side that won all three major honours the previous season, but Guardiola shows few signs of it troubling him. The ex-Barcelona boss has maintained Bayern's status as the team to beat in Europe and is looking for a hat-trick of European prizes. And, though we won't shout about it, he oversaw Barça triumphs over United in 2009 and 2011.
Sub-plot United have endured some painful exits to German sides in the past: Borussia Dortmund (1997), Bayer Leverkusen (2002) and Bayern (2010) are still sore memories. But there is hope: the Bavarian outfit have failed to win any of the last four home games against English sides. Arsenal drew at the Allianz Arena earlier this month and Manchester City claimed a memorable victory there in 2013. The previous year, Chelsea emerged victorious on penalties for an unlikely triumph in the final.
Past meetings W2 D4 L3. Bayern are just edging ahead when you tally up results from previous meetings. They claimed victory in the quarter-finals in 2001, and nine years later knocked us out at the same stage when, despite a 3-2 victory for Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Old Trafford, the Germans progressed on away goals. That said, we hold the trump card of that dramatic night in the Nou Camp on 26 May 1999, our finest hour in Europe. United have arguably been handed the