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Nic Ladds 14th Sep 2009 - 19:00

Nan-the-man to help United get job done

As odds of 1/2 would suggest, Manchester United should be able to overcome their first Champions League opponents of the season, Besiktas who are priced at 5/1.

United come here on a high having put in arguably their best performance last week with a 3-1 win against in-form Tottenham, despite being reduced to 10 men when Paul Scholes was sent off.

Sir Alex Ferguson will not be wanting any slip ups in their opening fixture and it will be a case of 'get the job done' efficiently but not necessarily impressively which should have correct score punters looking at options like 1-0 and 2-0 to United at 9/2 and 5/1 respectively while 2-1 is a more generous 7/1.

It is often harped on about just how tough it is to visit Turkish teams due to the hostile atmosphere but United have been there all before and the inevitable ferocity of the Istanbul crowd should give them nothing to fear.

Besiktas are struggling in their own league at the moment having failed to score in their last three games and they suffered a 3-0 beating against arch rivals Galatasary last time out which leaves the prospect of facing Man Utd even more daunting for them.

They will be buoyed by the stat that the away side have won only one in their last four trips to Turkey in the Champions League which gives them hopes of holding the Red Devils to a draw at 12/5, but this Besiktas side are low on confidence and history is unlikely to help them.

To add to the Turkish side's goal scoring woes is the stat that Man Utd have only conceded two goals in their last eight away fixtures in this competition and the home side will need the likes of the potentially dangerous Nihat Kahveci to be on form at 10/1 to score first while Filip Holosko and Mert Nobre are other possible goal scorers, both at 9/1 to bag the first goal.

United meanwhile carry a much more potent goal threat with Wayne Rooney looking in rude health and will have his supporters at 9/2 for first goal with Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen both 11/2.

A wager on Nani or Ryan Giggs to get on the score sheet could be a wise move as both have been looking dangerous from range recently and will both look to test the error-prone Besiktas goalkeeper Receber Rustu who has publicly objected to the ball used in the Champions League and either player could be the call to score at 10/3 and 4/1 respectively.

An efficient performance is expected from Ferguson's side and while it won't be glamorous, a small but comfortable victory looks the call to kick-start what is likely to be yet another lengthy Champions League campaign for United.

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Recommendation:

Man United to win 2-1 - 7/1

Nani to score anytime - 10/3

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