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Europe braces for Champions League return

The UEFA Champions League returns at the quarter-final stage tonight.

The UEFA Champions League returns at the quarter-final stage tonight. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The UEFA Champions League returns tonight with the start of the quarter-final stage.

Barcelona host Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp, while Manchester United welcomes reigning European champions Bayern Munich to Old Trafford.

United manager David Moyes believes his team can rise to the occasion against the recently crowned German champions.

"Undoubtedly, as I've said many times already, we're playing against a good side. But it's the sort of night that United have risen to in the past, and we hope that we can do that tonight. We'll have to pay very well, but we're capable of doing that."

Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs believes that United can beat Munich if they get the rub of the green tonight.

"Of course it's possible. We will need to play well and we will need a little bit of luck. The times we won the Champions League, we played well and had some luck. We're hoping for that."

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola says Manchester United are capable of beating the Bundesliga giants, adding that the Red Devils are always a threat on European nights.

"They don't want to be labelled as favourites before the game, but I know in my heart that we're playing a top side. Maybe they haven't played too well during the season, and I don't know why that is. But for one game, or two games, they can put on their best performance of the season and they can beat us."

Guardiola says he's not reading too much into United's poor domestic form this season.

"They haven't had a good season in the Premier League, but they have done very well in the Champions League, winning many important games. I know the quality of Rooney, Ferdinand, Vidic and Ryan Giggs.

The action gets underway at 8:45pm.

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