FOOTBALL NEWS

18/02/2014 09:58, Report by Ben Hibbs

Crerand eyes Europe

Reds legend Paddy Crerand cannot wait for the resumption of the Champions League as Manchester United eye a last 16 tie with Olympiacos next week, and he suggests the competition can bring out the best in David Moyes' team.

Europe's elite competition clicks back into gear today (Tuesday) following its winter hiatus, and in this week's batch of matches Barcelona visit Manchester to take on our neighbours City in their debut second round tie.

United's players have just returned from a warm-weather training camp in the Middle East, and while the immediate focus is on Saturday's 17:30 GMT kick-off against Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League, a return to European football – where Moyes' men have enjoyed arguably their best form and results this term – is a tantalising proposition.

"This month we welcome the UEFA Champions League's return and I feel confident about our chances against Olympiacos," Crerand told Inside United. "Greece is a wonderful place with great weather and we have a fantastic support over there. The locals are terrific people who get right behind their team, so it should be a fantastic atmosphere."

United topped Group A with an impressive 14 points from a possible 18, which bolsters Crerand's confidence ahead of the last 16 first leg trip to the Karaiskakis Stadium, with the return match at Old Trafford on 19 March.

"The players have been excellent in Europe this season and David Moyes deserves a lot of credit for that," adds Paddy. "Getting out of the group wasn't easy, but we passed with flying colours. Without dismissing the Greeks, the quarter-finals are well within reach. You never know what might happen from that point on. The club is experienced on the continent and anything can happen in this competition."

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