Manchester United v St Etienne: In-Form Red Devils aiming for first leg dominance

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are in their best form of the campaign so far as they prepare to host French side St Etienne at Old Trafford on Thursday. The pre-match odds suggest that this should be a comfortable evening for the Red Devils although they would have undoubtedly preferred to play the away tie first.

As it is, United will want to build a comfortable first leg lead so the winning margin markets will be of interest here but let’s take a look at the result betting first.

Match Odds

Manchester United are available at a short odds on price to win on the night and can currently be backed at a best of 1/3 with William Hill and Betway. St Etienne, meanwhile, are listed at best odds of 11/1 with 32Red and BetStars while the draw is quoted at 23/5 with MarathonBet.

Remember, those are prices for the 90 minutes on Thursday and not for the tie as a whole so is there any reason to look away from the favourites? If you were looking at form as a means of answering that question you would have to side with United who come into this match with a long unbeaten run that has taken them to the brink of the top four.

St Etienne are in a similar position in Ligue 1 but that’s a weaker competition and with home advantage, United should gain a first leg lead.

Individual Goal Scorers

Away from the result options, individual goal scorer betting tends to be the most popular of the side markets but you have to be careful in games such as these. Manchester United will want to win the trophy of course but their priority is a top four finish in the Premier League so it’s likely that we will see some changes in the starting line up.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the favourite to open the scoring at odds of 11/4 with William Hill and Winner Sports but the Swede may well drop to the bench with a potential strike pairing of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial starting the game. Rooney is quoted in this market at 9/2 with Bet365 while Martial, who scored for United at the weekend, goes off at 11/2 with BetStars.

Rooney has attracted his share of criticism this season but the record breaking striker has scored some important goals at club level in 2016/17 and is a tip for an anytime goal at a best of 7/5 with NetBet.

The first name from St Etienne is that of Robert Beric, the Slovenian striker who has a modest average of around a goal every three games for the French side. At 12/1 with Bet365 to open the scoring, he may be one to avoid but a best of 9/2 with BetFred for an anytime goal looks to be more tempting.

Other side bets

The away goals rule now comes into effect so United will look to attack and build a sizeable lead going into the second leg in France. We’re starting to get into long shot bets here but a winning margin of two or more goals in favour of the home side is actually very short at 11/17 with 10Bet.

For a smaller wager on a distant punt, a correct score of Manchester United 3 St Etienne 1 is quoted at 12/1 with BetStars while you can come back to relative safety with over 3.5 total goals at 2/1 with Bet365.

Clearly United should win this and if you don’t have a Paddy Power account, a new customer promotion means you can get a price lift up to 6/1 but for most of us, it’s all about the side betting if you want more value.

Best Bets:

  • Over 3.5 goals at 2/1 with Bet365
  • Wayne Rooney to score anytime at 7/5 with NetBet
  • Correct score Manchester United 3 St Etienne 1 at 12/1 with BetStars
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