Europa League favourites Manchester United face Copenhagen in the quarter-finals on Monday – a one-off game is being played on neutral territory, namely Cologne in Germany.
The English side are just 1/4 to win in 90 minutes and progress to the last four and while that’s pretty much an unbackable price, you can see why the bookies are on the back foot about the Red Devils.
They’ve lost just one of their last 23 matches and have looked very strong since the season resumed.
Their best players have all had a couple of weeks’ rest following the end of their Premier League campaign, one which saw them finish third to guarantee Champions League football next season.
It was basically a reserve side which saw off LASK 2-1 on Wednesday night, making the aggregate score 7-1. The big guns such as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes should all be back for this one.
Even Copenhagen boss Stale Solbakken admits the game “could get ugly if they play to their maximum”.
The Danes did to turn around a first-leg deficit against Istanbul Basaksehir, winning 3-0 in the second game for a 3-1 aggregate success.
It made it three wins on the bounce for them, although the first two of those were pretty meaningless given the Danish title had long since slipped from their grasp.
That was a result of a six-game winless streak post-lockdown. They finished distant runners-up – 14 points behind champions Midtjylland.
The contrasting form is evident and it’s really a case of working out which is the best way of backing United.
United are 8/11 to cover a one-goal handicap, something they’ve managed in six of 12 post-lockdown games.
For those seeking something a bit bigger, they are also 21/10 to win by two or more. They’ve done that against four of their five Europa League opponents this season.
However, 5/6 abut them scoring in both halves is the way to go. That’s occurred in five of the 12 since lockdown but take out the games in which they’ve fielding under-strength sides and it’s five in nine.
The goal threat will be back in the team and the goalscorer markets will also be worth checking out once prices are available.
Interestingly penalty-taker Fernandes is the top scorer since the season resumed with seven but he won’t be the market leader in either the anytime or first scorer markets.
Man Utd to score in both halves - 5/6