Manchester United boss David Moyes has yet to hit on a winning formula in the Premier League with the champions currently in an unfamiliar eighth-place in the English top flight after three losses already, but their form in Europe suggests they are worth a nibble at a whopping 18/1 to be top dogs on the continent for the fourth time in the club’s history.
The Red Devils’ poor domestic form has not been replicated in the Champions League, where they sit top of Group A after three games.
United already have one foot in the last-sixteen of Europe’s elite competition after banking seven points from a possible nine in their matches against Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad.
A trip to Basque country to face a side who have no Champions League points and have not managed a home La Liga victory since their opening game of the season is next up and another win would see the 1/20 bwin are currently offering on United’s qualification from Group A sink ever further.
Moyes doesn’t know what to do with Shinji Kagawa in the Premier League, but the Japan star showed what he can do against the Basques.
The 24-year-old should have capped an excellent display with a goal, but got his feet all wrong when latching on to an Antonio Valencia cutback against Sociedad and the player also starred in one of United’s few other bright spots so far in this campaign – the 1-0 Capital One Cup win over Liverpool.
Kagawa played his first full game under the Scot against Jagoba Arrasate’s side and has only featured for 45 minutes in the Premier League this season, but after the former Borussia Dortmund schemer’s exciting performances in cup competitions that has to change.
Nine of United’s starting 11 in the win against La Real featured in their impressive Champions League last-sixteen draw at Real Madrid back in February.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have retired, but all of the players on show against Real Sociedad were brought to the north west by the wily old knight and four of United’s starting line-up featured the last time they won the biggest trophy in club football in 2008.
Injured strikers Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck will be back in time for the return match in San Sebastian, which can only improve the Red Devils’ chances of racking up a cricket score after converting just one of 18 shots into a goal at Old Trafford.