Red Devils to Post Europa League Home Win to Nil

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Anderlecht in the first leg.

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Anderlecht in the first leg.

UEFA Europa League favourite Manchester United has won four of its five home games in the competition without conceding a goal and the only player to score at Old Trafford in the tournament is former Red Devils striker Robin van Persie.

English Premier League visits to Tottenham and Manchester City in its last seven fixtures means that UEFA Champions League qualification via its domestic competition is not going to be easy for Manchester United so the UEFA Europa League is what really matters to the Red Devils and their defensively minded, pragmatic manager Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United is 23-11-2 in its 36 matches across all tournaments since it lost 1-2 at Fenerbahce during UEFA Europa League Group A and the Red Devils have had excuses for their two defeats since the second week of November – they simply needed to limit the damage away to Hull in the English Football League Cup and they had Ander Herrera sent off 16 minutes before N’Golo Kante scored Chelsea’s winner at Stamford Bridge in the English Premier League. Anyone who says that Manchester United is not heading in the right direction under Mourinho is talking out of their backside because the Special One inherited a big mess from Louis van Gaal, who inherited an even bigger mess from David Moyes.

Last week’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg between Anderlecht and Manchester United was heading the way of the Red Devils until the 86th minute when the Purple and Whites equalised against the run of play. Anderlecht star Leander Dendoncker registered his team’s first effort on target in the dying moments and it was sufficient to earn a 1-1 draw that the Purple and Whites did not deserve. On the balance of play, few Anderlecht fans could have complained had Manchester United posted a two-goal away victory such was the dominance of the Red Devils at the Constant Vanden Stock – they struck the woodwork through Jesse Lingard and Purple and Whites goalkeeper Ruben pulled off great saves.

The bet that leaps off the UEFA Europa League coupon is Manchester United to win to nil versus Anderlecht on Thursday at odds of -105  with BetVictor and Coral.

One expects both Celta and Lyon to advance to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, justifying odds-on favouritism after winning their respective first-leg home games.

Celta rested most of its regular starters against Granada in the Spanish Primera Division on Sunday so the Sky Blues will be as fresh as daisies for their visit to Genk on Thursday.

One could not back Celta to triumph at Genk based on the former’s Spanish Primera Division away numbers – the Sky Blues are 4-4-8 on their travels but they are 0-0-7 in enemy territory versus sides in the top eight – but the gulf in class between the two teams was evident last week when the Sky Blues merited a lot more than a 3-2 home victory.

Celta counter attacked to get the better of Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish Copa del Rey so the Sky Blues are more than capable of getting on the scoresheet at Genk and forcing the Blues and Whites to score multiple goals to progress at the expense of their famous guests.

SkyBet is offering odds of -200  about Celta reaching the UEFA Europa League and continuing to fly the flag for the Spanish Primera Division in a competition that sides from that tournament have dominated in recent seasons.

Lyon leads Besiktas 2-1 going into their UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday and one fancies that the Kids will pass their latest test at odds of -250  with several bookmakers, including 32Red, 888Sport and Bet365.

Vincent Aboubakar is not the most skilful of strikers but the Cameroon international, who is on loan from Porto to Besiktas, makes a nuisance of himself due to his physical size and one thinks that that Black Eagles will miss him against Lyon as he continues to serve the suspension that he received for committing violent conduct versus Olympiacos.

Lyon struck the woodwork twice in its 2-1 UEFA Europa League home win over Besiktas last week so, having been unlucky not to put the cleaners through the Black Eagles in France last week, they should avoid defeat in Turkey this week.

Tips Summary

Manchester United to win to nil
Thursday 20th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  -105

Celta Vigo to qualify for the semi finals
Thursday 20th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  -250

Lyon to qualify for the semi finals
Thursday 20th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  -200