Basel v Manchester United: Mourinho’s Men Set to Seal Champions League Qualification

basel-logoWhile Manchester United have been dominant in Group A, winning all of their four matches to date, results elsewhere mean that Jose Mourinho’s men still need a point to qualify for the next phase of the Champions League.

On Wednesday, they travel to Switzerland to face a Basel side who have qualification hopes of their own and this could potentially be United’s toughest task to date.

Match Odds

The majority of bookmakers have Manchester United as an odds on option but elsewhere, you can obtain a top price of Even Money with Coral and Sun Bets. The draw then comes in at best odds of 13/5 with SportingBet while a win for Basel completes the result market at a best of 63/20 with MarathonBet.

As always, the first thing to consider is form and while Basel beat FC Sion by a convincing scoreline of 5-1 last time out, the Swiss side aren’t in the best of touch right now. Over the course of the last five games, Raphael Wicky’s side have two wins, two draws and a home defeat which came in their last Champions League match against CSKA Moscow.

United have themselves been a little patchy but Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle United sets them up nicely for this tie and based on the comparative qualities of the two squads, it’s easy to side with the visitors for this one.

Individual Goal Scorers

zlatan-ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

If you don’t like the look of Manchester United’s Even Money odds then there is value across the side markets including the first goal scorer betting where Romelu Lukaku is favourite to open the scoring at 10/3 with William Hill and Betway. The Belgian had been going through a quiet patch but a goal in that win over Newcastle sets him on his way once again.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back in United colours after an extended injury break and the Swede is on offer at 7/2 with Bet365 and 188Bet while Marcus Rashford is back at a best of 6/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in Saturday’s EPL win and can be taken at 13/2 with Unibet and 888Sport again while Juan Mata may be an option from midfield at 21/2 with Unibet.

There is little mention for FC Basel players but their most likely scorer may be Albian Ajeti who has two goals in two league games since joining the club in October. He’s a talented young prospect and with that record will attract some interest at best odds of 7/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.

However, a better punt could be on Ajeti for an anytime goal which is listed at a top price of 27/10 – also with Unibet and 888Sport. Our tip is in this market where Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks strong at a best of 11/8 with Paddy Power. The Swede may not start the game after that lengthy spell on the sidelines but looked sharp against Newcastle United and as a potential substitute, 11/8 is a reasonable figure.

Other Side Bets

manchester-united-logo250Manchester United have scored ten goals across their four Champions League games this season while Basel also have a healthy tally of eight from four. That makes the Both Teams to Score bet seem a good option at decent value best odds of 10/11 with William Hill and Sport Pesa. The only possible negative is the fact that United have conceded just once but the Swiss are a genuine threat up front and look more potent with Ajeti in the squad.

With the same stats in mind, betting over 2.5 goals may seem a safe option at a best of 11/10 with Paddy Power but we may be a shade braver and go over 3.5 at a top price of 14/5 with Coral.

As for the winner, we can’t see past United particularly when you consider that return to form against Newcastle at the weekend. There may well be some enhanced odds, new customer deals for this match but Even Money on Mourinho’s men is a decent figure while there is value across the side markets in the lead up to kick off.

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