Another Europa League slog looks on the cards for Manchester United when they host Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
The Red Devils have been far from free-flowing in this season’s competition, not surprising given the mix of youth and experience they’ve been putting out, partly due to a long injury list which currently includes the likes of Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic.
To be fair, they’ve managed to rack up seven points from their first three games so are well on track to reach the knockout stages.
They are a short price to claim another three points here with Partizan having caused them plenty of problems in the first leg. They could easily have got a point, hitting the post at 0-0 and then coming close to an equaliser on a few occasions having fallen behind to an Anthony Martial penalty.
A return to Old Trafford isn’t the tonic it used to be for the hosts, who only battled past Astana 1-0 in their previous home Europa match.
Their three games so far have produced a total of two goals and it was another insipid domestic performance at Bournemouth on Saturday which brought a 1-0 defeat.
They had seemed to have turned a corner before that, dominating at Norwich, but then that was a game against a team who have conceded more shots on target than any other in the Premier League. Partizan’s defence are unlikely to be so generous.
Under 2.5 goals at 8/11 seems a perfectly fair play but for those seeking something bigger, backing Partizan’s defensive midfielder Sasa Zdjelar to be carded is worth considering at 11/4.
His card in Belgrade two weeks ago was his fifth in nine Europa games this season and with United expected to have most of the ball on home soil, he should be kept busy.
At this stage it’s also worth mentioning a potential in-play bet.
Partizan keeper Vladimir Stojkovic has a track record for time wasting. Last season he picked up five cards, three of which were for running down the clock. This term he has three cards, one for time-wasting.
If the visitors have points in their possession heading into the latter stages, he’s worth a look.
Under 2.5 goals – 8/11 with bet365
Sasa Zdjelar to be carded – 11/4 with bet365
* Prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change
** New customers only, limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in CASH. Maximum refund for this offer is £10. T&Cs apply.