WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) takes up the controls as Manchester United welcome Belgium outfit Anderlecht to Old Trafford Thursday night.
Manchester United v Anderlecht | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport
Jose Mourinho was not a happy man after seeing his side forced to settle for a share of the spoils from last week’s Europa League quarter-final first leg clash with Anderlecht in Belgium.
The Portuguese was unhappy that his side had squandered a number of great chances to put the tie to bed, but United’s impressive record on home soil would suggest that Rene Weiler’s team still have it all to do if they are to reach the final four of this competition.
United impressive on Sunday
United were hugely impressive in their 2-0 home win against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon and a performance on a par with that would surely be enough to see the men from Manchester progress.
The home side, too, can call upon the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had his feet up for long spells as the Blues were beaten on Sunday.
Instead, it was Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard who led the attack against the Blues and two fine individual performances from that pair merely highlighted that Mourinho has plenty of high quality options in attack from which to choose ahead of Thursday’s tussle.
Goals expected at Old Trafford?
United have failed to find the net in just two of their last 16 games, while Anderlecht know that they are certain to crash out of the competition unless they can score.
The over 2.5 goals market, therefore, may well prove popular with punters, while backing Both Teams To Sscore could reward punters who think that Weiler’s team can, at least, give United a fright on Thursday.
United’s quality at the back, though, could provide them with a path to the final four; the men from Manchester have kept a clean sheet in all but one of their five home ties in the Europa League this term, while Mourinho’s men have conceded just one goal in their last four matches on their own patch.
The betting angle
Anderlecht, in truth, were lucky to get anything out of the first leg and it would be something of a surprise should the Belgians find the extra gear required to make their mark in Manchester. If United can take their chances, they may well claim a convincing win at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Anderlecht have scored an impressive 22 goals in this competition, but their run looks likely to come to a halt against Mourinho’s classy charges at Old Trafford.
United scored in both halves against Chelsea on Sunday and the quote for United to repeat the feat against Anderlecht could offer decent value ahead of this match.
Manchester United v Anderlecht – Manchester United to score in both halves (10/11 Betway)