Back defences to win the day with goals at a premium
April 11, 2017
The Reds, steeped in a long and illustrious European history, have never bagged the Europa League or its forerunner the UEFA Cup. No doubt, Sir Alex Ferguson would have considered the Champions League’s poor relation beneath him if still in charge. However, with his current side struggling for a spot in the Premier League’s top four, the self-appointed “Special One” Mourinho may see winning this trophy as his side’s best chance of sealing qualification for the big one next season.
Free Betting Tips
We can expect a cagey affair in the first leg with Mourinho’s sides notorious for keeping it tight away from home, so 17-20 with Marathon Bet for under 2.5 goals looks a sound bet.
United remain heavy favourites in most games they play, despite a vast majority of performances in the past few seasons suggesting anything of the sort. They are even money to get the job done in Brussels, but cannot be backed with huge confidence. The Belgian side boast a decent home record in Europe, winning five of their last six games on home soil. Traditionally, Anderlecht are very strong in their tight, noisy, compact stadium – beating much better United sides than this in two out their three meetings at home.
Incidentally, a 10-0 United win against the “Purples” at noisy neighbours Manchester City’s former home, Maine Road in 1956 – remains Anderlecht’s heaviest loss and United’s biggest win in Europe.
However, despite being depleted through injury, Jose Mourinho’s side are bullish about their chances of reaching the last four. With the amount of money he has splurged, I should think so too!
Don’t discount underdogs Anderlecht causing a surprise with home advantage, so handicap +1 at 17-20 comes into play. A goalless stalemate may be very boring, but the odds are particularly enticing at 9-1 with Betfair – recommending a small covering bet at 13-2 with Unibet for the 1-1.
United’s top scoring talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic is dreaming of playing in the Europa League final at home in Stockholm in May. Ibra loves this ground, scoring four for PSG at Anderlecht in 2013 and is the obvious favourite to break the deadlock at 18-5 with Bet Victor, but don’t rule out Anderlecht’s in-form striker Łukasz Teodorczyk at 11-2 with the same firm.