Manchester United are expected to rely on strength in depth as they entertain Schalke in tomorrow’s (May 4th) Champions League semi final second leg against Schalke.
After being dealt a blow to their Premier League hopes, courtesy of a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal, United manager Alex Ferguson is expected to rest a few key players for the weekend visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford.
As such, Wayne Rooney and Fabio Da Silva will be rested completely after picking up a hamstring injury and a slight knock respectively at the Emirates stadium.
Javier “Chicarito” Hernandez is also expected to be rested with Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen coming in to form a two-man attack.
Despite the changes, United are largely expected to progress to the final of Europe’s premier club tournament after inflicting a 2-0 home defeat on Schalke in the first leg.
Therefore, there are little returns on offer for those betting on Manchester United to win at Old Trafford, with bwin currently offering odds of 2/5.
Those with doubts over the players sitting on the fringes of the United starting line-up could be tempted by the draw, which is priced at 17/5, or even an unlikely away win ay 25/4.
With Rooney and Hernandez not set to feature, Berbatov will be looking to show Ferguson that he still has the credentials to feature in a first-class attack.
Despite being out of favour for much of the second half of the season, the Bulgarian remains the top scorer in the Premier League and as such could attract a lot of attention in the first goal scorer markets.
The languid forward is priced at 7/2 to open the scoring at the Theatre of Dreams, while strike partner Owen, who has been resigned to a bit-part in the United striking hierarchy since his arrival from Newcastle, can be backed at 7/2 to break the deadlock.
Those looking for longer returns could be tempted to put their faith in Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian winger has been in impressive form since returning from a broken leg and at 9/1 to score first offers bwin customers the chance to see £100 returns from a £10 stake.
While Schalke were outclassed by a patient United side last time out, the weekend defeat to Arsenal may have given them some hope of causing an upset.
The Germans have shown that they can compete at the highest level this year seeing off current champions Inter Milan in the previous round.
As such, Raul, the all-time leading scorer in the Champions league, offers exciting odds to break the deadlock.
The former Real Madrid man offers odds of 9/1, while Edu and Jefferson Farfan can be backed at 11/1 to achieve the same feat. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.