No Rom for United error against minnows Galati
Manchester United v Otelul Galati - Wednesday 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 2
Sir Alex Ferguson will refrain from making too many changes to his Manchester United team as he looks to take a tight Group C by the scruff of the neck and qualify for the knockout stages with a minimum of fuss. United currently occupy second place in the group, two points behind Benfica after an underwhelming beginning to their European campaign that has consisted of two draws and just the one victory.
That solitary win came a fortnight ago in Romania as the English champions shaded the game against Otelul Galati, and were thankful to two Wayne Rooney penalties that were enough to seal a narrow victory. Despite losing all three of their games so far in the Champions League, the eastern European minnows will be no pushovers at Old Trafford, Galati's matches against both Benfica and Basel were tight ones and Man Utd could only score from the penalty spot against them.
The hosts though are the heavy favourites for this contest and are priced at 1/12 while a shock win for the visitors can be backed at 25/1. If you feel that United will be held to another European stalemate then the draw is available at 8/1.
The aforementioned Wayne Rooney (2/1 first scorer, 2/1 two or more goals) netted both goals for United two weeks ago and is the favourite once again to break the deadlock. Despite seeing his early season Premier League goal scoring form stutter somewhat in recent weeks, Rooney's goal threat cannot be denied. Mexican international Javier Hernandez ( 5/2 first scorer, 4/7 anytime) is just behind Rooney in the goal scorer betting markets but his confidence will be sky high after netting Man Utd's winning goal in their 1-0 victory away to Everton on Saturday. That win, following on from the midweek League Cup triumph away at Aldershot, was a welcome tonic for the club after the catastrophic 6-1 humiliation suffered at the hands of neighbours Manchester City in their last outing at Old Trafford.
In what could turn out to be a high scoring affair, possibly for the hosts rather than Galati, the handicap markets and over/under goals market are set predictably high. Man Utd-1 goal is priced at 3/10 while -3 goals is only 9/4. Over 3.5 goals in the Total Match Goals Market could provide a little more value, at 6/5.
For the travelling Romanians, Serbian striker Bratislav Punosevac is Otelul's best chance of opening the scoring at 20/1 whilst Marius Pena, the scorer of the side's only goal in the competition in match day one, is also 20/1. One bet for the visitors that might keep the interest of the neutral could be Galati to bag the first goal at 6/1, if United aren't at the races from the first whistle, there could be an early shock.
My recommendations for this match are all for United to triumph without having to really get out of third or fourth gear.
Correct score - 3-0 Man Utd @ 9/2
First Scorer - Javier Hernandez @ 5/2
First Half Handicap - Man Utd -1 goal @ 8/5