There’s something of after the Lord Mayor show surrounding tonight’s European football, as matters turn to the relatively mundane Europa League after the pyrotechnics of the Champions League.
Manchester United travel to the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium to take on Anderlecht and will start as favourites to proceed through to the semi-finals after the two legs.
But this first leg will not be easy. Anderlecht are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, and haven’t lost in 10 matches at home, keeping eight clean sheets in the process.
That said, Man Utd are also on a good run, and are unbeaten in their last 12 games away games in the Premier League and the Europa League combined. Their last defeat was against Fenerbache in November.
This strong run has been based on a strong defence, in fact United have kept more clean sheets in the Europa League than any other side this season, and have conceded the fewest goals of the teams that made the knockout stages.
With all this in mind, and this being the first leg where teams are usually more cagey, goals are likely to be short supply.
Most bookmakers now offer a small deduction in odds between the price for a 0-0 score and that for no first goalscorer, to represent the chance of an own goal as these do not count in the First Goalscorer market. However, SkyBet offers top price of 9/1 for both. We recommend betting on no goalscorer, and keeping own goals on our side.
Recommendation: No goalscorer at 9/1, SkyBet
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