Manchester United v Anderlecht: Honours Even but United the Smarter Bet
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho would have been disappointed to see his side pegged back by Anderlecht in the closing minutes of the first leg of this Europa League tie. It means that the teams go into Thursday night’s match level at 1-1 but at Old Trafford, the bookies expect the home side to have a comfortable evening.
With kick off fast approaching, United are clear favourites to win on the night and the Red Devils can be picked up at best odds of 2/7 with either William Hill or Coral. The draw is quoted at a top price of 11/2 with MarathonBet while a win for the Belgians is listed at 25/2 with MarathonBet once again.
Those are the odds for the game in 90 minutes but it you want the qualification betting as an alternative, Manchester United shorten greatly to 1/9 with SkyBet and Ladbrokes while Anderlecht are out at best odds of 7/1 with Bet365.
Although the first leg may have finished even, you could tell that United had the greater quality in their line up but they just couldn’t finish things off. Against Chelsea on Sunday, Mourinho’s men were very impressive but there is a theory that they only raise their game against the bigger teams.
That may be true, but it’s still hard, given the comparison of the two squads, to see past a United victory in normal time.
Individual Goal Scorers
Zlatan is back from suspension but Jose trusted his younger strikers Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in that win over Chelsea. Ibrahimovic is favourite to score the first goal on Thursday at odds of 12/5 with William Hill and 188Bet but you need to be sure the Swede will start before parting with any money.
Marcus Rashford is next on the list at 15/4 with Bet365 while Wayne Rooney is at 9/2 with Bet365 but it’s so hard to second guess United’s starting XI that you may want to look at the anytime markets.
Our pick here is Henrikh Mkhitaryan who seems to score important goals when they are needed most. The Armenian is likely to get 90 minutes in this one and looks the best option at a top price of 7/4 with BetFred.
For Anderlecht, some punters will want to look at last week’s goal scorer Leander Dendoncker who is quoted at best odds of 14/1 with Bet365 and Paddy Power but that was a rare goal for the defensive midfielder who now has 6 strikes in 81 matches. A better option for the Belgians would be Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk who now has 20 goals in 30 league games for Anderlecht and can be backed at 7/2 with BetFred to score in 90 minutes.
Other Side Bets
We’ll be avoiding the Belgians in the goal scoring markets as we think that United will win this one to nil – a bet that we’re tipping at best odds of 20/21 with MarathonBet. As for a third bet, there are lots of options and even if the Belgians were to draw a blank, you could bet over the 2.5 goal line with some confidence and this is reflected in a short best price of 69/100 with MarathonBet. Our first two bets are relatively low however so, for our last tip, we’ll take a bigger punt and look to the Correct Score bet.
It’s true that Manchester United are something of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team; capable of beating Champions Elect Chelsea with ease, shortly after drawing with relegation contenders Bournemouth. We still feel that Mourinho’s men will be strong, knowing that they need a win and that they have a real chance of winning this competition so a correct score of Manchester United 3 Anderlecht 0 is worth a smaller wager at a best of 7/1 with Paddy Power.
After that disappointing draw in Belgium last week, we should expect a more emphatic win for United on Thursday but for better value, head for the side betting in this one.