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Man United defensive duo set to miss crunch tie

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 21:49

London: Manchester United defenders Chris Smalling (hamstring) and Jonny Evans (calf) are set to miss Wednesday`s key Champions League tie against Olympiakos at Old Trafford.

Both players missed training at United`s Carrington training ground on Tuesday where manager David Moyes tried to put to bed reports of a rift between himself and senior players by taking full part in the practice session.

However, Moyes remains under a harsh spotlight that will only intensify if United fail to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit in their last 16 tie against unheralded Greek side Olympiakos.

And there was further embarrassment for United with the lacklustre manner of their 3-0 home loss to bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

That defeat left English champions United in seventh place in the Premier League, 12 points off a top four finish that would qualify Moyes` men for next season`s Champions League.

An exit from the Champions League would effectively end United`s campaign, given their unexpectedly early departures from both the League and FA cup competitions.

However, United have repeatedly insisted Moyes, the chosen successor of former boss Alex Ferguson, British football`s most successful manager who retired from the Old Trafford hot seat at the end of last season before handing over to his fellow Scot, is not under threat.

First Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 21:49

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