Manchester United v PSV Eindhoven Betting Preview
Back van Gaal’s men to secure place in knockout stage with a win
They might not be playing the same free-flowing, attacking football so commonly seen during the Ferguson era, but Manchester United are having a fairly successful season. They currently sit one point off the pace in the Premier League in second position after their win over Watford on Saturday, and have confirmed their status as serious title contenders. Despite being by no means safe yet, United’s Champions League campaign has been impressive thus far, and they head into their gameweek five encounter with PSV top of Group B on seven points, one clear of their Dutch opponents.
They’ve won two out of four in what is the closest of the eight groups, with all for teams still in with a reasonable chance of qualifying. The Red Devils are unbeaten at home all season, including previous wins over Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow – they look good value for money to guarantee their last 16 spot with a win. Unbeaten since October 4th, United are the only Premier League side to have conceded under ten goals and have one of the strongest defences in Europe at the moment. My money’s on United to win this one.
Ander Herrera and Phil Jones are both out after suffering respective hamstring and ankle injuries at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial are both unlikely to start but may feature, whilst Michael Carrick will definitely miss the game. Marouane Fellaini is fit.
But Phillip Cocu’s men are also experiencing a strong season, and will fancy their chances against a side they have already beaten in Europe earlier this season. The Dutch side are second in Group B, level with Wolfsburg on points (6), goal difference (0) and head to head results (both winning 2-0 at home). Like United, PSV are unbeaten at home in all competitions, but their away record is less impressive and United will be hoping to take advantage of their defensive weakness on Wednesday.
They’ve only won four of their ten games away from the Philips Stadion all season, conceding 15 goals. They’ve lost both of their away games in the Champions League, losing 3-2 to Moscow and 2-0 to Wolfsburg, so the form books would favour United to take all three points from the tie. Although they won’t secure a place in the next round, a win for PSV would give them a huge chance of qualifying, and they’ll have the bit between their teeth when they take to the Old Trafford pitch in two days’ time.
The sides have only met three times since the turn of the century, and only once since 2000, which was the reverse fixture back in September when PSV took all three points in a 2-1 win. United were unlucky that day, with Luke Shaw suffering a horrific leg break, so Louis van Gaal’s men will be out for revenge come Wednesday.
To score any time – Memphis Depay 11/8
After a blockbuster start to his Manchester United career, the Dutch forward’s form fell away and up until last Saturday, had failed to score since September 26th. His stunning finish against Watford at the weekend marked his return to form, and was vital with Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney both out injured. I wouldn’t be surprised if van Gaal kept faith in the Dutchman for this crucial European tie, and I’m backing him to net his second against his former club this season.
Odds of 11/8 for Memphis to score at any time are very favourable indeed.
Both teams to score – Yes 20/21
United’s record of going over six hours without conceding a goal was finally broken on Saturday as Troy Deeney’s late penalty ended what was a spectacular run. I think the nature and importance of the game will result in lots of fast-paced, end-to-end football with both goalkeepers being tested throughout the 90 minutes. United have conceded in three of their four Champions League group matches, and PSV have only kept three clean sheets in seventeen matches in all competitions. I would recommend backing both teams to score at 20/21, but odds of 17/20 are available for a no vote.
Match odds – Manchester United 1/2
The home side are odds on favourites to win the tie and secure a place in the last 16 of the competition, and it’s unsurprising considering their recent run of form in both domestic and European competition. I would recommend backing van Gaal’s men to take all three points with odds of 1/2. However, odds of 13/2 for an away win are very attractive as PSV will be going all out to take a vital victory back to Holland on Wednesday evening. A draw, which would do neither side any favours, is priced at 7/2.
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.