United sailed through the group stages of the prestigious competition with 14 points from a possible 18 - finishing comfortably ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad - to book a second round tie with the Greek champions. While the boss acknowledges it will be difficult to go all the way to Lisbon, where the showpiece finale will be held, he believes United’s pedigree in Europe makes the club a force to be reckoned with.
“Everybody wants to win it and we’ll try to do it," Moyes says. "I never said we would or we can but we’ll be in there. Teams don’t want to play Manchester United. They know what it stands for as they have been successful. I hope we can play well enough to get through this round and see what happens next."
Olympiacos will face United without former top scorer Konstantinos Mitroglou, who signed for Fulham in January. While that sale has obvious benefits, Moyes concedes it also poses a scouting dilemma.
“They are really good and have had a great record. They are undoubtedly the best team in Greece, no question about it. They also have a lot of Greek internationals who will go to the World Cup and it will be a really tough game," he added.
“Mitroglou was a really good goalscorer for them and a main player. Does it weaken them? I think they’d rather have him than not but probably felt the offer was so good they had to take it. Since then, they’ve brought in two or three other players as well and I couldn’t be sure who will and won’t play.”
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