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Man Utd v Shakhtar: Devils have to be backed to bounce back

| 10.12.2013

While David Moyes’ boys have suffered Old Trafford ignominy in both of their last two Premier League fixtures, the Champions League offers a chink of light for Manchester United, who should seal Group A supremacy by exposing rocky travellers Shakhtar Donetsk.

The task is simple for Moyes; avoid defeat against Ukraine’s finest and his side will progress to the knockout stages as the winners of Group A.

In bygone seasons the minimum requirement may well have been sufficient – with a draw priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes – but with the faithful in decidedly restless mood following their domestic woes, expect nothing less than a fully fired-up United to be gunning for victory.

It’s not often Man United’s odds to win at Old Trafford will be as pleasing as 11/10 either, so punters have more than enough reason to take Ladbrokes up on their offer.

Where their wholly uncharacteristic Premier League form has been a thorn in Moyes’ early tenure, the Champions League has represented a bed of roses comparatively for the Scot.

This point was rammed home in emphatic style by the Red Devils recording that landmark 5-0 drubbing of Leverkusen on their travels last time out – a place where Shakhtar were thumped 4-0 on their visit.

An early goal could well be crucial for setting the agenda for this encounter and the omens (in Europe at least) are good for the home side to do just that; as United scored within two minutes against Real Sociedad and within 22 against Bayer Leverkusen.

It’s 4/5 the hosts will score their first before the half-time whistle, while United to be leading 1-0 at the break – as they have been in both previous home group games – is quoted invitingly at 31/10 with Ladbrokes.

Going down this route, 2/1 on United to be winning at both half time and full time seems another to expose.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.