Javier Saviola
Saviola has scored 11 goals this season.

Manchester United have been handed a major injury boost ahead of their Champions League last 16 first leg tie against Olympiakos with the news that leading scorer Javier Saviola is out with a thigh injury.

The Greek champions recorded their 24th win in 26 league games with a 4-0 thrashing of OFI Crete which keeps the club 20 points clear of the Super League summit.

But the victory was overshadowed by injury to Saviola, who lasted just 33 minutes of the weekend win before going off with a thigh problem which will keep him out of Tuesday's first leg visit of United.

Nigerian forward Michael Olaitan, a scorer of eight goals in 15 appearances this term, is expected to lead the attack in the absence of the Argentina international.

United travel to Greece off the back of returning to winning ways against Crystal Palace, with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both netting, putting the Premier League champions in good stead as they attempt to continue their 100% win record against Olympiakos.

David Moyes' side have prevailed in all four meetings between the two sides in the Champions League and without Saviola and with Konstantinos Mitroglou having joined Fulham in the January transfer window, United will be confident of continuing their good record.

But Olympiakos boss Michel told The Guardian: "At the start of the season I said that winning the league and the cup was a challenge, competing in Europe was an ilusión, a hope, something to be enthused by.

"Benfica, Anderlecht, PSG, now United, here and at Old Trafford. I've never been. I told the players: 'This is special'. This isn't a profession, it's a vocation. Think back to your neighbourhood: how many kids grow up playing at being lawyers? None. Who plays at being a footballer? Almost everyone.

"I've been watching United's games," he added. "Not that the recent ones will help much because they're without [Juan] Mata. It's a pity: I'd have liked Mata to enjoy Karaiskakis. I'd have liked to have ruined his day a bit."