Prediction and odds for the game: Manchester United (1/3) vs Middlesbrough (8/1)
We are backing Manchester United half-time/full-time at odds of 21/20
When: Friday 4 February 2022, Kick-off 20:00
Where: Old Trafford
On Friday night, Manchester United host Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils results were decent before the international break. However, their performances have been inconsistent of late. In fact, United have suffered just one defeat under interim head coach Ralf Rangnick in the German’s ten-game tenure.
The men from Manchester were in decent form before the break, with a 2-1 win over West Ham taking them into the Premier League’s top-four. The club’s objective when appointing Rangnick will have been to finish in the Champions League spots.
However, winning silverware would certainly do Rangnick’s hopes of landing the job on a full-time basis no harm. United have been difficult to beat of late in the FA Cup, as they have lost just two of their last 11 games in the competition. On the flip-side, though, they have won just three of their previous six matches in normal time in the competition.
They have a good home record in the FA Cup, having won ten of their last 12 matches at Old Trafford in normal time and one in extra time.
Former Sheffield United head coach Chris Wilder is inspiring a promotion challenge at the north east club. Boro are currently in the final play-off spot in the Championship and head into this clash in good form.
A 1-0 home win over Coventry City last time out in the second tier means that the visitors have won six of their last seven games in all competitions. It was another low-scoring game for Middlesbrough, as six of their previous nine matches have produced under 2.5 goals.
Like Manchester United, Middlesbrough may feel that this competition is not their priority, with winning promotion back to the Premier League seemingly the big objective. However, recording a win at Old Trafford would certainly be a confidence boost.
Boro have a poor recent record in the FA Cup. A 3-2 win at Mansfield Town in the third round of the competition ended a five-game winless run for the north east team. The win also ended a run of four straight away defeats in the FA Cup.
The visitors haven’t won at Old Trafford in 90 minutes since 2004. However, they did knock United out of the League Cup at Old Trafford in 2015 courtesy of a penalty shootout win.
This could be a fascinating tie, as both teams head into the clash in good form. It will be a test of Boro’s Premier League credentials too.
However, we don’t foresee any shocks, so we are backing United to record a win. The home win doesn’t offer great odds, so instead, we are backing United half-time/full-time. We are also backing under 2.5 goals, as the Red Devils have not been that prolific under Rangnick, while the visitors are relatively solid in defence.
Our Tips: we are backing Manchester United half-time/full-time at odds of 21/20 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at evens. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Will the Red Devils book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup or will Middlesbrough shock the men from Manchester?