After Saturday night’s disappointing performance, it’s difficult to see how Manchester United regain momentum. With the fast front-runners Rooney and Hernandez both ruled out for tonight, it looks like another 90 minutes of pinning all our hopes on veterans Berbatov and Owen. Whilst they both struggled to get into the game against Stoke, we’re hoping that the home advantage turns the Reds into more of a force going forwards, and that Nani and Ashley Young see as much of the ball as possible.
Rooney (hamstring) joins Hernandez (dead leg), Smalling, Evans, Vidic, Rafael and Cleverley in the luxury seats, and leaves the squad looking a little patched up to say the least. That said, there should be more than enough quality in the rest of the squad to cover up against an aggressive but inferior Basel side.
Sir Alex Ferguson has always aimed for 10 points to guarantee qualification, which means winning all your home games and grabbing a point away. Their hard-earned point at Benfica two weeks ago has set them up nicely, with a win tonight taking them to 4 points, meaning they can have qualification sealed after their next two games in the Champions League – both against Romanian minnows Otelul Galati. You’d have to fancy our chances…
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It seems a bit ridiculous to back United to win when they are at home and expected to win – the best odds you can get are 1.25 (Paddy Power). It’s tempting to guess what the score will be, but notoriously difficult to get right. We think it’s going to be hard-work tonight, so we’re going for a simple 2-0 victory, available at 8.0 (Ladbrokes).
With Rooney and Chicharito ruled out, the attacking burden falls to the likes of Owen and Berbatov, who struggled to get chances on Saturday. Whilst we can see Owen grabbing a scrambled winner, we think the main thrust of United’s forward play is going to have to come from United’s best performer so far this season – Nani. You can get 2.63 on him to be an anytime scorer with Bet Clic, and we think thats a reasonable bet.
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