Champions League Is Open, Says Van Persie

Manchester United forward, Robin van Persie has said that the UEFA Champions League is so wide open this year that ten of the remaining 16 teams have a chance of lifting the trophy.
After going through the group stages unbeaten, Manchester United return to Champions League action in the knockout stages on Tuesday when they travel to Olympiacos for the first leg of their last-16 tie.
United are big favourites to progress, but Van Persie knows a big club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich could be lying in wait for them in the quarter-finals.
“If you play well and are lucky you have a good chance of going far, but even then I think there are eight to ten teams who could win it this year”, the United striker told UEFA.com.
Having sold Kostas Mitroglou to Fulham in January, Olympiacos became heavily reliant on the form of evergreen Javier Saviola, but the Argentine is out of the first leg due to a thigh injury. That leaves Olympiacos with just two fit strikers in 21-year-old Michael Olaitan and Nelson Valdez, who moved to the Greek club from Al-Jazira in January.
United have won all four of their games against Olympiacos, but midfielder Ryan Giggs reckons they will still be formidable opponents. “Once you get to this stage of the competition you know that there are not going to be any easy matches,” said Giggs, who was in the United side that beat the Greeks 7-2 on aggregate the last time they met in 2002


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