Manchester United warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow by claiming a thrilling 3-1 victory against Arsenal in north London on Saturday evening, and Jose Mourinho will be hoping for more of the same in their Group A game at Old Trafford.
Despite being beaten in Basel last time out in this competition, a point will be enough to guarantee United top spot in the group and the history books certainly favour the men from Manchester as they are unbeaten in their previous five meetings against the Russian outfit.
Furthermore, United have been beaten in just two of their last 48 Champions League group games on home soil and Paddy Power offer just 4/11 (1.36) that Mourinho’s charges move into the last 16 of the competition in style with a win in this one; the same firm go 7/2 (4.50) that the match remains all square at the end of 90 minutes.
CSKA have been beaten in eight of their 12 Champions League ties on the road against English opposition but Viktor Goncharenko’s men will feel confident that they can claim a potentially vital victory at Old Trafford; CSKA have won both of their previous two Champions League away matches in the group and they can be backed at 8/1 (9.0) with Paddy Power to make it a hat-trick here, while the same firm go 22/1 (23.0) that the Russians claim a third successive 2-1 victory on their travels in Group A.
Igor Akinfeev kept his first Champions League proper clean sheet in more than 11 years against Benfica last time out and Paddy Power offer 6/1 (7.0) that the Russian international doubles his personal delight by keeping United at bay in this game, while the same firm offer a chunky 13/1 (14.0) that CSKA claim a famous win without conceding against the Group A leaders.
United, though, have been in fantastic form in the final third of the pitch and Mourinho’s team have hit at least three goals in their last four victories in all competitions, making it a tempting price of 13/8 (2.63) that the men from Manchester score more than two goals in this game – as they did in Moscow back in September, when they hit four past their Russian counterparts.
It is not just in attack that Mourinho’s team are strong; indeed, the hosts have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four home fixtures in the Champions League and Paddy Power offer 10/11 (1.91) that the hosts shut out Goncharenko’s side during Tuesday’s tie.
Better value, though, may lie in backing United to win to nil at 11/10 (2.10) with the same firm, for the selection would have landed in no fewer than eight of the 10 matches that Mourinho’s team have contested on their own patch this season.