David Moyes has suggested that Shinji Kagawa will be “definitely be involved at some point” in Manchester United’s Champions League tussle with Olympiakos.
If United are to reel in the visitors to book a place in the competition’s last 16 then the Scot should seriously consider using the Japanese star from the off at Old Trafford.
Kagawa may have been a peripheral figure for the Red Devils in 2013/14, starting 15 of 43 their games so far, but he’s made the XI in five of their seven Champions League games.
All bar one of his quintet of continental starts has seen the Old Trafford club take the laurels, with the exception a draw against Real Sociedad.
The positive correlation between Kagawa starts and United wins this term is far from merely a European phenomenon either.
When Shinji has been absent from the XI the Red Devils have claimed wins from 42 per cent of their 28 fixtures.
However, they’ve triumphed in 67 per cent of the 15 games in which the former Borussia Dortmund maestro has been thrust in from the off in 2013/14.
With Juan Mata absent, having represented Chelsea earlier in the competition, Kagawa could slot in on the right side of the attacking three behind Robin van Persie, if not in place of Adnan Januzaj on the opposite flank (a role has occupied on eight occasions this term).
From such a position his passion, developed at Dortmund, for pressing and harrying opposition defenders with the ball at their feet would help United to crank up the pressure on Olympiakos, who shipped in all but one of their group games.
Kagawa is 15/4 to bag in a Red Devils win against Olympiakos.
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