THE Champions League continues on Tuesday as Sevilla travel to Manchester United with the tie locked at 0-0. Dan McCulloch (@danmcc84) shares his best bet.
Manchester United v Sevilla | Tuesday 13th February 2018, 19:45 | BT Sport
When these two met 13 days ago, I was pretty confident that there would be fewer than three goals in the game given Jose Mourinho’s record in big away matches. Given that evens is available on history repeating itself, my gut feel was to repeat the trick.
While that bet was never really in doubt, Sevilla’s attacking threat was clear to see and they were definitely worthy of a first leg lead. David De Gea made a couple of superb saves at the end of the first-half, the hosts won the shot count 25-6 and the on-target stats 8-1.
I also felt that they looked susceptible at the back on the rare occasions that United ventured forward and their deficiencies were showcased a few days later when they were beaten 5-2 at home by Atletico Madrid who, like Mourinho’s side, fit in to the pragmatic category.
In my piece discussing the first leg, I cited Mourinho’s 69% strike rate in Under 2.5 Goals landing in away games at the business end of major European competition as a reason to expect a low-scoring game. At home, it’s actually just under 50%, but if pushed, I would still side with Under 2.5 Goals.
In last season’s Europa League, United faced the might of Saint Etienne, Rostov, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo over two legs and their home results (in 90 minutes) read 3-0, 1-0, 1-1, 1-1. You could argue that United are a better side this year but I only actually see minor improvement, as De Gea is without doubt their Player of the Season.
United to progress in low-scoring encounter
I do, however, believe United will get through. Mourinho is the master of brinkmanship and I would be shocked if we saw an expansive game.
Usually I like to be aggressive – especially as Mourinho’s United are one of the easier sides to call – but on this occasion, I will take the relatively safe option and back United to win and Under 3.5 goals at 13/10 with BetVictor.
If you look at their 18 home games in the Premier League and Champions League this season, 11 would have ensured this bet emerged victorious, including all three games in this competition. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing United and Under 2.5 goals, which is available at 3/1 with Bet365 but for once I will make the more conservative call.
I also think there may be value on the exchanges on Romelu Lukaku to score anytime but the 5/4 available on the high street is not tempting enough to get me involved.
Manchester United v Sevilla – Manchester United to win and Under 3.5 Goals (13/10 BetVictor)