Rio Ferdinand has been a bedrock of the Manchester United team for the vast proportion of his 11 years at the club and his achievements will be recognised with an all-star testimonial match against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Friday.
Punters should be alerted to the fact that we are offering money back on all correct score bets if the veteran centre-half gets on the scoresheet – an offer you can see right here – and there’s every reason to suggest that he might.
The contest will also see the fastest man in the world don a United shirt as well-known Red Usain Bolt lines up, but Ferdinand will hope to ensure that the limelight is mainly his by notching a celebratory strike.
Ferdinand has not exactly been prolific in his career, with more goal-hungry defenders like Leighton Baines and Branislav Ivanovic notching half his career total of ten league goals – achieved in 487 outings – during the 2012/13 campaign alone.
However, if the recent testimonial match strike from pathologically goal-shy Everton stalwart Tony Hibbert – who has never scored in 315 competitive outings for the Toffees – is anything to go by, then perhaps mysterious forces may well usher the star of the show’s efforts netwards on such an occasion as this.
And if United are awarded a penalty (it’s Old Trafford, so there’s a pretty good chance of that happening, right?) then you can be sure that Ferdinand will step up to take it.
In terms of the ‘normal’ match odds, United are the strong 1/2 favourites for the win, with the draw priced up at 29/10 and Sevilla a 5/1 shout.
With the insurance of the money back offer, the prospect of taking a little paddle in the correct score market is somewhat more encouraging than it might normally be and we could be looking at a close affair, judging by some of the more recent testimonials.
While Paul Scholes’ golden handshake ended up a lopsided 6-0 hammering of New York Red Bulls – a tally which would land in the 19/2 ‘any other score’ bracket – other testimonial matches for United lifers have been played against opponents of a quality more commensurate with Sevilla.
Gary Neville’s reward for his service saw United beat Juventus 2-1, while Ryan Giggs’ testimonial saw Celtic have the temerity to beat the hosts 4-3.
A 2-1 win for the hosts can be punted on at 7/1, with a similarly show-spoiling 4-3 loss available at a whopping 150/1.