Liam Kelly previews United's Europa League trip to Granada, expecting a tighter match-up than the prices suggest.
1pt Under 1.5 Goals at 47/20 (Unibet)
After edging past AC Milan in the last round, Manchester United continue their quest for continental glory in Spain, facing Granada in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Granada may be a surprise name in the hat at this stage of the competition, but a seventh place finish in the 2019/20 La Liga season is not to be sniffed at, and they've continued to be a solid outfit during this cramped campaign, retaining a top half spot domestically despite European obligations.
The hosts have been an accomplished side in the Europa League, too, dumping out Napoli and Molde in the knockout stages after comfortably qualifying from their group.
Granada's strength is undoubtedly their defensive discipline, especially at home, and that is the basis for a recommended bet of UNDER 1.5 GOALS in this first leg match-up.
Given they've impressed in the same metric at Los Carmenes in La Liga, Granada's outstanding underlying numbers in the UEL should be taken seriously.
In their five home matches in this competition, Granada have allowed just two goals, conceding chances equating to an average of 0.78 expected goals (xGA) per game.
Simply staying in the tie against a superior team is surely an objective for Diego Martinez's men, which could lead to a low-scoring affair against the heavily favoured United.
Despite gaining three points, Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side arrive in Spain on the back of a sloppy display against Brighton at the weekend, edging out a 2-1 win after falling behind.
Europa League success appears to be a huge target for the club since dropping down from the UCL, which is understandable given their deficit to Manchester City domestically.
Although they've faced tough opposition, they've been excellent in the knockout rounds against Real Sociedad and AC Milan, conceding only once in four matches. That defensive solidity should continue here.
As a result, United can be be expected to dominate a fixture they should win given the disparity in player quality.
However, Granada's backline is capable of keeping this closer than the prices suggest.
Score prediction: Granada 0-1 Manchester United (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Odds correct 1130 BST (07/04/21)
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