Manchester United will attempt to get back on the winning trail this week when they travel all the way to Serbia in order to face FK Partizan in the UEFA Europa League.
FK Partizan (11/5)
Partizan have been struggling to gain a foothold in their own domestic league and are currently down in fifth position, but in the Europa League, they seem to be well up for the challenge and currently sit in first place in Group L. That’s actually quite interesting given how they got to the dance, too, as while they beat Yeni Malatyaspor and Molde in order to reach the group stage, they only won one leg in both encounters and edged through 3-2 on aggregate. In the group, however, they secured a 2-2 draw with AZ Akmaar before edging past Astana 2-1.
When they come up against slightly better opposition in the form of Manchester United we just don’t think they’ll be capable of putting in a good enough shift, which is why we’d be leaning towards under 2.5 goals.
Manchester United (6/5)
Manchester United are in the bottom half of the Premier League table and at this moment in time, it doesn’t appear as if that’s going to change. They may be in second place in the Europa League behind Partizan, but that isn’t saying much. Their last six game stretch began with a 2-0 loss to West Ham United before they were able to get their only win in their last six, which wasn’t even really a win as they edged past Rochdale on penalties. They proceeded to draw 1-1 with Arsenal in the Premier League before a dull 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar, and then against Newcastle United, they were stunned in a 1-0 loss. The real surprise, however, was a 1-1 draw against their rivals Liverpool.
They haven’t managed to get above 2.5 goals in any of the aforementioned games and for that reason alone, it seems obvious to predict that they’re going to fill the ‘under’ quota in their trip to Belgrade.
Going over to Serbia is a tough ask for anyone in world football as the atmosphere is the definition of intimidating. The fans simply don’t allow you to settle on the ball and with that in mind, we can understand why there would be some trepidation behind backing Manchester United in this one. However, one thing we’ve come to expect from United is a fairly solid defensive display, and we think they’ll manage to edge themselves ahead and maintain the lead in this one.
We’re going for the under 2.5 goals as a result of that, which may not lead to an attractive game of football – in fact, we’re convinced it won’t lead to an attractive game of football. However, it’ll be exactly what Ole needs to get his side back on track.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 6/5 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/11. (All odds are taken from bet365).
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