Manchester United (-270) vs Zorya (+1400), Draw (+425)
Manchester United (3-0-2, 9 points) will take on Ukrainian side Zorya (0-2-3, 2 points) on December 8 for the last game of the Europa League group stage.
After demolishing dutch side Feyenoord 4-0 yesterday in the the fifth fixture, Manchester United may finally be over their rut. They outplayed Arsenal (yet still drew 1-1) in their last Premier League game and beat Swansea City 3-1 in the game before that. Things are finally looking up for the Red Devils.
Their 4-0 thrashing of Feyenoord was the first time this season that United has looked, well … united. Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney connected well up front, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fed a fair amount opportunities inside the box, and Paul Pogba was given more chances to shoot from distance. Things seem to be finally coming together.
The game was especially a confidence boost for Rooney, who opened the scoring and set up Mata for the second. The former England captain has come under fire recently for his lack of form. His performance against Feyenoord will silence his critics for at least a short while.
With the Premier League more or less out of reach (United are in sixth, nine points back of first-place Chelsea), the Europa League is really all Manchester United have left. A win against Zorya will ensure that they advance to the knockout phase, and a draw will most likely see them through as well. A loss will see them out if Feyenoord manage to beat Fenerbahçe.
Zorya are already knocked out of the Europa League after failing to win any of their first five games. They are currently sitting in third in the Ukrainian league and dead-last in their Europa league group.
This will be Manchester United’s game to win or lose. The outcome will depend on which side turns up on December 8. While the Red Devils are clearly the more talented side, they’ll know a draw will suffice and I see value on the draw.
Pick: Draw (+425)
Photo credit: “Pogba” by kimmiji2012, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.
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