Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to avoid a Transylvanian horror show in Cluj and Adam Bate is backing United to claim all three points - but only after a tight first halfAfter a sequence of six consecutive victories, Manchester United were beaten at home in a historic result for Tottenham.
While that was Spurs’ first win at Old Trafford since 1989, in a sense it was coming – United were fortunate to emerge with wins at Southampton and Liverpool in recent weeks.
In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have stuttered their way through much of August and September. Will Saturday’s 3-2 defeat serve as a wake-up call for the Uefa Champions League trip to CFR Cluj?
The bookmakers are certainly backing the visitors despite injuries at the back and the absence of Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in midfield through illness.
United are 4/6 (1.67) favourites with Paddy Power to make it two wins from two in Group H.
There is no excuse for the visitors underestimating their hosts after the Romanian side went to Portugal in their group opener and delivered a counter-attacking lesson to beat Braga 2-0 away.
Despite home advantage here, the strategy will probably be the same against the three-time champions and CFR Cluj are 9/2 (5.50) underdogs with Paddy Power to repeat the trick. The draw is available at 13/5 (3.60).
The hero against Braga was Rafael Bastos and he is generously priced at 10/1 (11.00) to open the scoring again here.
But the understandable favourite to net first is United forward Robin van Persie – he is 4/1 (5.00) to find the breakthrough in this one.
Scoring that first goal is something United have struggled with this season – going behind in four of their last seven games.
But Spurs aside, they have normally found a way through in the end. Despite going in level at the break against Wigan, Saints and Liverpool they have picked up three points each time.
Expect a similar story here and back draw/United in the HT/FT market as the value bet in this one at 7/2 (4.50).
But for the pick of the bets, it has to be a United win at 4/6 (1.67) – because for all the problems elsewhere on the pitch, Ferguson’s men should have too much firepower for the Romanian champs.
|Man Utd to win at 4/6 with Paddy Power
||Draw/United at HT/FT at 7/2 with Paddy Power|
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on