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Galatasaray v Man United: Weakened Utd not to be ignored

| 20.11.2012

Wayne Rooney and David de Gea both trained with their Manchester United teammates ahead of the Red Devils’ trip to Galatasaray after sitting out the defeat at Norwich, but the former, along with a host of other regular first-team stars, won’t be making the trip to Istanbul.

United are 23/10 underdogs to win what is a dead rubber as far as they’re concerned in the Turk Telecom Arena, while the hosts, who have it all to play for, can be had at 11/10 with the draw weighing in at 5/2.

The second spot in Group H is wide open courtesy of United’s unblemished record in the Champions League to date and it looks as though Galatasaray will be squaring off against a weakened team with points needed ahead of a potential qualification playoff in Braga up next for them.

If they don’t capitalise on home advantage it’ll be exceedingly difficult for the Turkish champions to follow United out of the group and, to do so, they’ll have to snap a five-match winless run in European home games.

They won their last game with Premier League opposition, beating Liverpool 3-2. This was one of just two wins in seven attempts against English clubs at home so the omens are far from positive as far as Fatih Terim’s side are concerned.

This bleak outlook is compounded furthermore by the five occasions in Group H in which the away side has emerged victorious – United contributing two of them – which is more than in any other section of the competition.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have come from behind to win in each of their last three Champions League clashes and can be backed at a massive 12/1 to achieve the same feat again here.

An under-strength United side could easily go a goal down and, depending who Sir Alex keeps in reserve, there’s a chance that some bigger names will be unleashed from the bench to save the game; it’s worth putting a few quid on this eventuality.

All of these games have, obviously, involved over 2.5 goals and, at 4/5, this outcome occurring for the fourth time in succession also represents good value for money.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton