Anderlecht vs Manchester United – Backing an away win with both teams to score at 10/3 on BetfairPublished April 12, 2017
The Europa League is fast becoming Jose Mourinho’s priority at Manchester United this season. Champions League qualification is imperative for the Red Devils, and their continued struggles to reach the top four suggest they need an alternate route to the Premier League.
Earlier in the competition, there was a distinct feeling Mourinho wasn’t overly bothered about it. But his focus will be as strong as ever when he takes his side to Belgium to face a tough task against Anderlecht.
United have often looked unbalanced this season, relying on star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 28 goals far too often. The 35-year-old Swede has been in typically amazing form all season and should lead the line here, giving his side the edge.
But Anderlecht possess a lot of quality, not least in teenage midfielder Youri Tielemans. His energy and close control will ensure United will have a midfield battle on their hands. He pulls the strings but the pace and power up front, particularly through striker Frank Acheampong, who has scored three goals in nine European games this season.
Mourinho’s men have been imperious in the Europa League at Old Trafford, but have looked less than convincing away at times. A major criticism of them has been their stagnation in play, but with the pace on the counter attack they will face in this one, it is vital they start quickly in every sense of the word.
Zlatan will likely start, but Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford would be good options to go alongside him. Rashford in particular will put Anderlecht on the back foot, because he loves to run at defenders with the ball both centrally and out wide.
Lingard’s movement and positional play will also make a huge difference, creating space for the likes of Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to run into higher up the pitch, as well as Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
If Mourinho picks the right team, United will have few problems, but they have struggled on the road in Europe so there is definite value in backing a draw in this leg, either at 13/5 in any form or 15/4 with both to score. We believe Zlatan will make the difference.