Van Gaal: United still favourites

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal insists Manchester United are still the favourites to progress from their Champions League quarter-final.

Bayern came from behind to secure a 2-1 aggregate advantage in Munich last Tuesday with late strikes from Franck Ribery and Ivica Olic after Wayne Rooney had put United ahead in the second minute.

The hosts looked good value for their victory in the Allianz Arena, but Van Gaal feels his side remain underdogs for the return match at Old Trafford.

Asked if he saw United as the favourites for the tie, the Dutchman said: "Yes. They have scored an away goal and they are a great team.

"They have a lot of experience playing big games at home and of course, they will have the support of the crowd.

"Our team is quite a young one in that it consists of young players, so that is a different situation.

"It is going to be our team versus theirs tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes."

Rooney is a major doubt for United after he suffered an ankle ligament injury in the closing stages of the first leg.

Today Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson said there was "no chance" of the England striker featuring in the second leg – before admitting there was a slim chance he could be involved as a substitute – but Van Gaal insists he is not overly concerned whether Rooney plays or not.

Asked whether he thought Ferguson was trying to "play a game" by giving the impression Rooney would not be fit for the match, Van Gaal said: "I don’t think that will happen, but when we played Fiorentina we were faced with a different team than we thought and that does happen in the football business.

"(But) I don’t think Ferguson will do that and I’d also like to say that we did win a game with Rooney (playing) – it’s not as if we can’t win when Wayne Rooney is playing for Manchester United. We don’t even need to win – a draw is fine."

Although Rooney is United’s main threat in front of goal, Bayern midfielder Mark van Bommel is hoping the striker is involved, although he stressed Ferguson’s charges should not be viewed as a one-man team.

"I’m hoping personally that he will play," Van Bommel said.

"It’s important for the people watching the game and it’s important for the Champions League overall.

"We hope that he will play, but if not, there are other players – Man United doesn’t just consist of Wayne Rooney.

"He is a very good player but the whole team is very good. He scores a lot of goals for them and it is something they will be missing, but we are going to give our best tomorrow.

"With or without Rooney – it’s really not important. We are going to give it our best shot."

Bayern’s main injury concern has been winger Arjen Robben, who missed the first leg in Munich and Bayern’s Bundesliga win over Schalke at the weekend with a calf strain but has been taking part in light training.

A late decision will be made on the fitness of the former Chelsea player after he came through the first 15 minutes of a training session at Old Trafford this evening which was open to the media.

Asked if he felt he could play a full part in the match, Robben said: "Yes, I hope so. I’m ready, I’m here and I didn’t travel just to be in the stands."

Van Gaal would not be drawn on the likelihood of Robben being named in the Bayern first XI.

"It’s always the trainer that makes the decision," Van Gaal said.