After a winning weekend, Tom Carnduff is targeting another big-priced goalscorer as part of two best bets at Old Trafford.
2pts Atalanta to have 13+ total shots at 6/4 (Sky Bet)
1pt Davide Zappacosta to score anytime at 14/1 (bet365)
The pressure is once again on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Not for the first time, a string of poor results has seen the attention firmly focused on Manchester United and their Champions League campaign has been an underwhelming one so far.
United lost away at Young Boys and needed Cristiano Ronaldo to strike very late to secure victory after a poor performance against Villarreal. Atalanta top Group F - they have four points after their two outings.
The hosts have won just one of their last five with three of those games ending in defeat. For Atalanta, they will be full of confidence given that they have gained something in six of their last seven. We shouldn't be rushing to take United at an odds-on price here.
The stats markets seem to be underestimating Atalanta here. United at Old Trafford will (almost) always see them as favourites but the Serie A side are strong with a clear identity to the way in which they play.
A part of that is shots, and it's a surprise to see a price as big as 6/4 with Sky Bet on ATALANTA TO HAVE 13+ TOTAL SHOTS. This is a mark they regularly hit in both league and European contests.
In the past four Serie A seasons, Atalanta have sat second on three occasions and top once for average shots per game. The lowest of those being the 15.9 posted so far this season - in previous full campaigns it has been 16.3 in 2020/21, 18.7 in 2019/20 and 16.9 in 2018/19.
It's not surprise to see that they have taken 13 shots in each of their two Champions League group games so far. A price like this usually means that, while one team is a high shot taker, the other is good at keeping them out. That just hasn't been the case with United.
Solskjaer's side conceded 15 shots against Villarreal and a huge 19 against underdogs Young Boys. Leicester took 22 at the weekend while Everton fell just short with 12 in their trip to Old Trafford. Even Newcastle, a side struggling in the relegation zone, managed 12.
The fact that Atalanta are such big outsiders here influences this price and that creates value in a game that - on paper at least - shouldn't be as one-sided as those odds suggest.
We had a big priced goalscorer winner in Manchester United's last game - Çağlar Söyüncü scoring anytime at 28/1 for Leicester on Saturday - and there is one name that also appeals in the same market for Wednesday.
While best known to Premier League fans as a right-back due to his time with Chelsea - although he did play as part of a back-three there, DAVIDE ZAPPACOSTA playing at right wing-back/right midfield makes him a value play at 14/1.
Zappacosta netted when Atalanta beat Sassuolo last month and he's enjoyed plenty of opportunities to strike. He's averaging 1.98 shots per league game and a decent enough 0.17 xG - although that increases in the Champions League.
He has taken six shots across their two Champions League games so far with a total xG figure of 0.23. For comparison, Mason Greenwood is on one shot and 0.05 xG, Bruno Fernandes has seen three shots for 0.11 xG and Jadon Sancho is 0.07 xG with one effort on target.
That 14/1 best price is one we'd expect to see from a standard right-back, not one playing in this system that allows the licence to attack and contribute at the other end of the pitch. The value is certainly there in taking him to score at any point across the 90 minutes.
United's recent form means it's difficult to get on board with their odds-on price for victory.
Infogol's model gives Atalanta a 50% chance of getting something - meaning the double chance in their favour is a solid bet - but the best value can be found in backing ZAPPACOSTA to find the net in a game where the ATLANTA SHOTS total is high.
Score prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Atalanta (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)
Odds correct at 1525 BST (18/10/21)
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