After tipping up three winners in the first leg of this tie, returning nearly 3.5pts profit, Jake Pearson is back to preview Manchester United's trip to Roma, picking out his best bet and score prediction.
1pt Both Teams To Score ‘NO’ at 13/7 (SBK)
A brilliant second-half display from Manchester United at Old Trafford last week turned the first leg of this tie on its head, as United scored five times in the second period to take a 6-2 lead into the return fixture in Rome.
That result means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have all but booked their place in this season’s Europa League final, making this game somewhat uninteresting from a neutral point of view, but that does not mean it holds no betting value, on the contrary, in fact.
Roma followed last week’s defeat with a 2-0 loss to Sampdoria at the weekend, meaning Paulo Fonseca’s side are now winless in their last six matches, including four defeats.
This season has, all in all, been something of a disappointment for Roma, who announced this week that they will be moving on from manager Fonseca at the end of the season, with Jose Mourinho taking over as head coach.
In stark contrast, Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, winning six, and with little to play for in the Premier League, Solskjaer will be desperate to get this game over the line, particularly given his unwanted record in semi-finals since taking over at Old Trafford.
On top of this, with Manchester United’s fixture against Liverpool on Sunday being postponed, Ole’s players should be completely fresh as they travel to Italy, having not played since the first leg.
In the quarter-finals, Manchester United came away from their first leg against Granada with a 2-0 victory, but more impressive was the fact that they pressed on in the second leg, winning by the same scoreline but showing plenty of professionalism, taking pride in defending their lead and limiting the Spanish side to very few chances.
Though this tie is pretty much in the bag for United, Ole will still expect his side to be extremely professional in this game, probably more so than they were in Manchester last Thursday.
Manchester United conceded two big chances against Roma last week, both of which the visitors dispatched, and that is something Solskjaer will be desperate to avoid this time around.
Overall though, Manchester United have been impressive defensively in the Europa League this season. They have kept a clean sheet in five of the seven matches they have played in the competition, a higher percentage than any other team, and in fact, they have only conceded three goals throughout the whole knockout stages thus far.
Matches involving Manchester United in the Europa League this season have seen both teams score just 29% of the time, and though Roma did look a threat in the first leg, United showed in the last round that they can sure things up at the back when it is necessary to do so.
Expect a wholly accomplished performance from Manchester United in Rome. After all, their away form has been exemplary this season.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE ‘NO’ was available to back at a standout price of 2/1 with BetVictor, but in the time it has taken to write this preview, that price has vanished. SBK are still offering 13/7 about the same outcome though, and that still looks to represent value, particularly given the prices that other firms are offering – Paddy Power are as short as 7/5.
Score prediction: Roma 0-1 Manchester United (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Odds correct 1450 BST (04/05/21)
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