Manchester United v Saint-Etienne Betting Special: Mata to provide another sparkling performance

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Our tipster thinks that backing the home side's in-form Spanish midfielder could reap rewards for punters in this Europa League tie at Old Trafford

Manchester United meet Saint-Etienne in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 clash at Old Trafford on Thursday. United have won just one of their last six Europa League ties on their travels and, as such, Jose Mourinho's men will be desperate to build an advantage ahead of next week's return leg in France.

The hosts have scored in all but one of their last 23 fixtures and the men from Manchester certainly have the tools to get amongst the goals in this game. One man who will be relishing the prospect of renewing his rivalry with Saint-Etienne is Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic has made a huge impact since signing on at Old Trafford in the summer, scoring 20 goals so far this season, and the former Paris Saint-Germain striker has a superb record against the visitors.

HD Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United

Indeed, the former PSG frontman has hit 14 goals against Thursday's opponents, more than any other side that he has faced in his career, and the 35-year-old striker is available at just 8/13 (1.62) with Paddy Power to extend that scoring streak here, while the same firm go 5/2 (3.50) that the Swede scores first.

Juan Mata is also enjoying a fruitful season for Manchester United; the Spanish star has scored nine goals this term, including two in his last two games. Paddy Power offer 6/1 (7.0) that the 28-year-old breaks the deadlock, while the same firm offer a juicy 9/5 (2.80) that Mata makes his mark at any time.

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is an 11/10 (2.10) shot to score, while Paul Pogba - who could line up against his brother Florentin for the first time in his professional career - is available at 2/1 (3.0) to secure familial bragging rights by scoring against his sibling's side while older brother Florentin is a 22/1 (23.0) chance to score at any time.

Pogba's fellow countryman, Anthony Martial, scored against Watford on Saturday and the striker can be backed at 6/4 (2.50) to follow up by grabbing another goal here, while teenage striker Marcus Rashford is priced up at even money (2.0) with Paddy Power to score at any time.


Alexander Soderlund scored twice as Saint-Etienne battled back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Anderlecht in their most recent game in this competition, but the Norwegian striker will miss this tie through injury.

The absence of the 29-year-old front man will be keenly felt, but Saint-Etienne will hope that Romain Hamouma can fill Soderlund's shoes at Old Trafford. The French striker has scored three goals in his last six Ligue 1 matches, notching against Lorient on Sunday, and Paddy Power go 11/2 (6.50) that he finds the net here, while the same firm offers 14/1 (15.0) that Hamouma breaks the deadlock.

Hamouma's fellow countryman, Nolan Roux, is a 4/1 (5.0) chance to score at any time, while 21-year-old Portuguese striker Jorginho, on-loan from Arouca, is available at 9/2 (5.50) to score at Old Trafford.

Manchester United are expected to dominate proceedings, though, and the value, therefore, lies in backing the in-form Juan Mata at 9/5 (2.80) to score against Saint-Etienne during Thursday's tussle.

Juan Mata to score at any time at 9/5 (2.80) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power