CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at Manchester United’s trip to Turkey on Thursday against Fenerbahce.
Fenerbahce v Manchester United | Thursday 18:00 | BT Sport Europe
Down in eighth place in the league, eight points off the pack, the Cup competitions are providing Manchester United fans with a little bit of rest bite to the gloom.
On Thursday they’re on Europe League duty and will try to harness the spirit of their last two Cup matches, a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce and a 1-0 win over Man City in the EFL Cup.
But how can you assess Manchester United at the moment? The 4-0 loss to Chelsea was a tough one to take but in many ways the Burnley draw was just as sobering.
A 0-0 draw with Burnley on paper looks bad at Old Trafford but Jose Mourinho’s side dished up chance after chance on Saturday but just couldn’t put the ball in the net.
They produced more shots in that game than in any other Premier League match in the last 13 years. So perhaps we should cut them some slack after that result.
What is of concern though is their record away from Old Trafford. In the last two months the only side they’ve managed to beat on their travels are Northampton Town.
Watford tore them apart 3-1 in Hertfordshire, as did Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They emerged with credit after a 0-0 draw at Anfield but the loss 1-0 to Feyenoord was a poor start to this group.
They face Fenerbahce again here and Dick Advocaat’s side are back into the Top 5 of the Turkish league after two straight wins in the division.
Bar the 4-1 loss at Old Trafford, Fenerbahce are unbeaten in eight matches and have lost just one of their eight home fixtures this season.
From a qualification point of view Fenerbahce need to get something from this match. They face Feyenoord away in the final matchday and a loss here would put them in a really difficult position five points behind United.
I’m torn here between thinking the English side might crank up the throttle after the frustrations of Saturday but also being very aware of their languid away form this season.
At 6/5 I can’t really risk the first option so I’ll be backing the draw on Thursday evening at odds of 5/2. It’s hard to form a clear view of Manchester United at the moment and this is in all honesty a cop out.
Fenerbahce v Manchester United – Draw (5/2 Marathon Bet)