Odds of 17/10 on an Athletic Bilbao victory against Manchester United look tempting after Los Leones’ impressive first leg performance at Old Trafford last week.
Despite their 3-2 loss at home – not to mention the manner of the defeat, with even Sir Alex Ferguson admitting his team were outplayed – the Red Devils are favourite to win tomorrow’s game at San Mames in bwin’s 3Way football betting market at 7/5, while the draw is at 5/2.
United certainly have a better chance of winning the second leg than they did the first given Rio Ferdinand is a confirmed starter in defence, while the exclusion of Phil Jones from the squad through illness means Michael Carrick is likely to play in midfield.
This will make the Red Devils far harder to break down than they were at Old Trafford, although given Athletic have scored in their last 17 games – and are 1/4 to score tomorrow – a clean sheet for Fergie’s men looks unlikely.
Los Leones are so proficient at home that the Premier League side could be left reflecting on a third consecutive European defeat.
And United’s away form is hardly a cause for optimism either, with their only successes on their travels in Europe coming against Ajax in the last round of the Europa League and Otelul Galati in the Champions League group stage.
Indeed, it was a failure away from home – a 2-1 defeat to FC Basel – which relegated them to the Europa League.
To make matters worse, Athletic have won nine of their last ten home games – drawing the other – and have scored 27 goals during this run.
With this in mind, an Athletic win looks overpriced at 17/10, making it a tempting option for those wondering how to use their free £25 bet for opening a new bwin account.
A successful £25 free bet on an Athletic win is set to return £67.50.
Away from the final result, a bet on both teams to score in the first half could be worth a punt given how Athletic and United have made a habit of scoring in the first 45 minutes of games in Europe this season.
Athletic have scored in the first half of seven of their ten games in Europe this season while United have been similarly successful in six of their nine matches.
Given both teams scored in the first half of last week’s encounter at Old Trafford, odds of 5/2 for a repeat therefore look good value.
But while getting on the scoresheet in the opening 45 minutes would represent a good start for United, Athletic’s home form suggests the Red Devils will be unable to pull off an away success to see them through to the next round at odds of 13/5.
Indeed, Los Leones are so proficient at home that the Premier League side could be left reflecting on a third consecutive European defeat.
Recommended bet: Athletic to beat Man Utd @ 17/10
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