Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger says the “power” of the Old Trafford crowd could be crucial to the team’s Champions League hopes this season.
Louis van Gaal’s side welcome Wolfsburg on Wednesday as United prepare for their first home appearance in Europe’s top competition since a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage in 2014.
Schweinsteiger – who netted Bayern’s goal in that game – remembers the atmosphere vividly and claims the current Premier League leaders are good enough to challenge on the continent this term, provided the backing from the fans remains strong.
“I remember when I came here first time with Bayern, it wasn’t an easy first 10 minutes. It’s not easy to play here first time, especially in the Champions League,” he said.
“You can feel the power of the supporters. It’s good for us but we have to play well.
“I feel very comfortable here, especially when we have matches here. It’s a big stadium, a big honour to play for United in that stadium, especially in the Champions League.
“Yes, I think so [we have the strength to win the Champions League]. But we have to do our work. We lost the match [at PSV last time out], so we have to win our games at home, take it step by step.
“The team spirit is our main strength.”
Schweinsteiger has warned of the quality Wolfsburg possess throughout their squad despite the sale of star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City in August.
“I scored my first goal away at Wolfsburg so I have good memories but it’s not easy to play against them, it’s always tough,” he said.
“They have a great team, they’ve improved a lot in the last few years. I have some friends in the team, especially Dante, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.”