Manchester United v Leicester City: Opening Night Thriller in Prospect
The long wait for the return of top flight domestic action in England is nearly over as Manchester United and Leicester City bring Friday night football to Old Trafford this week. Jose Mourinho’s men are under some pressure after a dour campaign last time around while Leicester face 2018/19 without their most creative player, Riyad Mahrez.
United are expected to cruise to victory but can they be outfoxed by Leicester’s visitors?
Manchester United go into this game as an odds on bet right across the board and you can back the hosts at best odds of 7/15 with 10Bet. The draw follows at 73/20 with MarathonBet while Black Type have the best numbers on a Leicester City win at 8/1.
Some punters like to avoid the first games of any season as they can be tough to call but United do look to be the obvious bet here. Mourinho’s men simply have the stronger squad and have added to it over the summer while Leicester have lost Mahrez and may struggle to hold on to key defender Harry Maguire before the end of the transfer window.
United for the win is a logical bet but at those prohibitive 7/15 odds, it would pay to consider the side markets and look elsewhere.
Individual Goal Scorers
After a largely productive World Cup, Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku should be rested and ready to lead the line for the hosts on Friday. Lukaku starts as favourite to open the scoring in this match at 3/1 with William Hill and Coral in a market that is largely dominated by United players.
Alexis Sanchez is next on the list at best odds of 4/1 with Unibet while Anthony Martial is available at 5/1 with both Unibet and 888Sport. Meanwhile, the price that will interest many is the 8/1 that Unibet have listed next to the name of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. The England striker remains the Foxes’ main goal threat and if they are going to trouble United, Vardy will have a big part to play and 8/1 looks to be an exceptional price.
Moving into midfield and beyond, Juan Mata is available at 13/2 to score first and if he starts the game, he will always be a threat.
Others will be looking to Paul Pogba who is at 13/2 with Marathonbet for the first goal or 7/2 with 10Bet to score at anytime in 90 minutes. However, there is some unrest and a suggestion that the Frenchman may leave the club before the transfer deadline so we’ll look at new signing Fred.
The Brazilian will surely be involved at some point and while he wasn’t a regular scorer for his previous side Shakhtar Donetsk, he’ll be looking to impress on debut and a top price of 5/1 with BetBright for an anytime goal is a generous one.
Other Side Bets
Statistics show that we tend to get plenty of goals when these two teams meet: Manchester United and their manager received their fair share of criticism for some subdued showings last term but in the last eight league meetings between these two, we have seen an average of 3.75 goals.
The last goalless draw came over 40 years ago so, we’ll be on Both Teams to Score which is quoted at best odds of 31/25 with MarathonBet. The ‘no’ option is odds on in this market so we think that BTTS has some value here when you consider those previous scoring stats.
For the same reasons, we’ll also be looking at the Overs and Unders markets for Friday’s match. Over 2.5 goals will be a popular option at a top price of 21/20 with MarathonBet but we think punters could be braver and go over 3.5 which lifts to a best of 45/17 with Unibet.
It may be a dour game but Leicester could be vulnerable and facing a tough season without Mahrez and possibly Maguire too. That will leave them open if United do play an open game and while we might look to add a Correct Score tip at 47/4 with MarathonBet on a 3-1 home win, we’ll leave with these predictions and hopefully look forward to some decent returns at the end of 90 minutes.
- Fred to Score anytime at 5/1 with BetBright
- Both Teams to Score at 31/25 with Marathonbet
- Over 3.5 Goals at 45/17 with Unibet