Rostov v Manchester United: Mourinho’s Men Looking for Healthy First Leg Lead

José Mourinho

At this stage of the season, it’s not exactly ideal to be travelling to Russia on a Thursday night and clearly Manchester United fans will be worried that their Europa League exploits might impact on their chances of finishing in the domestic top four.

Manager Jose Mourinho may well have mixed feelings: Firstly, it is an issue with long journeys into Eastern Europe but having already secured the EFL Cup, a second trophy for 2016/17 may well placate those fans, and the United board, if the club misses out on the Champions League places.

As for the first leg, the Red Devils concede home advantage but are highly fancied to win on the night.

Match Odds

With 48 hours to go until kick off, Manchester United led the result betting with a best price on offer of 21/25 with MarathonBet. The draw was also given the top price by MarathonBet at 14/5 while a win for the Russian Premier League side was listed at best odds of 4/1 by a number of outlets including bet365 and Paddy Power.

United’s home draw to Bournemouth at the weekend was disappointing and it also ended a long run of wins for Mourinho’s men but the club remain unbeaten in their last six. As for Rostov, they have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six so, considering the comparative strengths of the two leagues in England and Russia, you would have to side with Manchester United in this one.

Individual Goal Scorers

If you want some value beyond that odds on price for a United victory then you could look for some new customer price boosts or, you can look at the first goal scorer betting where Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the favourite to open the scoring at a best of 10/3 with William Hill.

One question would be whether the veteran striker will actually start the game. Zlatan has had a heavy workload of late and if he is rested completely or left on the bench, Marcus Rashford would be a far better option at a top price of 5/1 with bet365 and Winner Sports.

Other United options include Wayne Rooney at best odds of 6/1 with 32Red while from midfield, Juan Mata is quoted at a tempting 8/1 with bet365 and Winner Sports. Mata has been in fine scoring form of late and is our tip in the anytime market at 7/2 with 32Red.

But what about the Russians? Dmitry Poloz is Rostov’s favourite to open the scoring at best odds of 9/1 with Boylesports and looks to be a possible threat, despite a modest league record of 19 goals in 115 games for his club side.

Other Side Bets

There are other alternatives for Rostov in the goals markets but we feel that United will play a more defensive game here and look to catch their opponents on the break. If you agree, United to win to Nil is listed at 8/5 with Betway. Alternatively, United to win both halves is also a strong bet, but only if the visitors bring the best of their recent league form with them.

We feel that the surprise draw against Bournemouth on Saturday came as a result of a long schedule but rather than lead to a slump, it should provide more of a ‘wake up call’ to Mourinho’s men. At the end of the first 90 minutes, Manchester United should emerge as comfortable winners and their price of 17/10 to win both halves with 188Bet is a strong one, offering more value than the straight win, which is a safer option at 21/25 with MarathonBet.

Best Bets

  • Manchester United to win at 21/25 with MarathonBet
  • Juan Mata to score anytime at 7/2 with 32Red
  • United to win both halves at 47/10 with 188Bet
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