Manchester United have won six of their past seven fixtures at home, all of which came in the Premier League, so there’s a case to be made for emptying the bwin.com account onto the Red Devils’ 1/12 odds when Cambridge hit Old Trafford for their FA Cup fourth-round replay.
However, to make your money go further at the Theatre of Dreams, a look at recent instances when United faced a side in League Two or lower at home could provide key betting evidence.
Three such fixtures have occurred over the past decade. Read on for the reveal…
Man Utd 1-0 Crawley, FA Cup fifth round, 19/02/2011
Steve Evans’ Conference insurgents had already seen off Football League outfits Swindon, Derby and Torquay, but the high priest of cup upsets was just about beyond Crawley.
Wes Brown’s goal within half an hour killed the game as a contest, although visiting substitute Richard Brodie hit the bar late on.
Man Utd 5-0 Burton Albion, FA Cup third-round replay, 18/01/2006
Having drawn 0-0 with United in Staffordshire, Nigel Clough’s men were out of this fixture before half time thanks to an early effort from Louis Saha and the first of a Giuseppe Rossi brace.
United are 3/5 to beat Cambridge to nil and 9/25 to be leading at half time and full time.
Man Utd 4-1 Barnet, League Cup third round, 29/10/2005
The hosts were given a massive assist when Bees keeper Ross Flitney went for a very early bath after two minutes, although the fact that goals were grabbed in the first 15 of this fixture as well as against Burton lends weight to a bet on the same again at 7/5.
Then-teenager Rossi also got off the mark in this match, and judging by Van Gaal’s team selection at Abbey Stadium, 19-year-old James Wilson will be the American-born Italian’s equivalent at home to Cambridge.
Wilson is 11/20 fourth favourite to bag at Old Trafford, where two of his three senior goals so far for the club have come.