RB Leipzig host Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday in a 8pm kick-off at the Red Bull Arena.
Unless Paris Saint-Germain lose at home to Istanbul Basaksehir, Julian Nagelsmann’s side must beat the Red Devils in order to progress to the knockout stages.
A draw will be enough to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side through to the last 16.
The German outfit are marginal favourites at 7/5 to get the win they require, with United priced at 7/4. The draw is 27/10.
Personally, especially with Dayot Upamecano suspended for Leipzig, I’m quite keen on a United win here. A draw doesn’t feel particularly likely as, if the score is level heading into the final stages of proceedings, Leipzig are likely to push heavily in search of a winner. If they don’t find it, surely United will with the space they’d increasingly have on the break.
United’s 3-1 win at West Ham on Saturday was their ninth away win in a row, having won 12 of their last 13 away matches in all competitions (with the 2-1 loss at Basaksehir the one blemish on their copybook).
Admittedly, Leipzig are strong at home, taking maximum points from their five Bundesliga home games this season, as well as beating PSG and Basaksehir at home in this competition.
Indeed, Nagelsmann’s side have failed to score just once in their last 20 home matches in all competitions, so both teams to score feels very likely tonight.
Given the amount at stake, cards do, too. Antonio Mateu Lahoz takes charge, with the eccentric Spaniard showing both teams at least one card in 15 of his last 20 matches in all competitions. I’d be amazed if this doesn’t happen again tonight, with two or more cards each a very realistic possibility given it also happened in eight of those 20 matches, and I doubt any of them had as much at stake as this one does.
I’m happy to back Both Teams To Score, Over 0 Cards for each team and Over 3 Cards for both teams combined as an even-money shot, then:
Lahoz has shown four penalties in his three CL matches this season, averaging one every three matches in his 32 career matches in the competition. Another one would not surprise me tonight, with BoyleSports offering best odds of 8/5 on one being awarded. With United’s pace on the counter and their proficiency for winning penalties, odds of 9/2 (bet365) for them to score one certainly appeal.
In terms of player cards, Ibrahima Konate will have a lot of work to do alongside Willi Orban in the absence of Upamecano in defence. He has picked up two bookings in this competition already this season and is likely to come up against Marcus Rashford, who destroyed Leipzig in the return fixture.
Harry Maguire, meanwhile, has plenty of previous with Yussuf Poulsen in recent times and recently admitted he finds it difficult to avoid punishment from European referees, picking up two bookings in the Europa League last season and one in the CL this campaign. The double with Konate pays an attractive 16/1 (bet365).
There’s plenty of Leipzig players who look too big, too, with central midfielders Kevin Kampl and Marcel Sabitzer both 4/1 and forwards Christian Nkunku and Yussuf Poulsen both 5/1 (bet365). Kampl and Nkunku have two bookings in the Bundesliga this season, with Sabitzer and Poulsen picking up two cautions in the CL last season.
Nkunku also looks great value in Sky Bet’s tackles market, having made 3+ in three of his four CL starts this season (averaging 4.33 per game). He’s 9/4 to land three once again, and a big price at 6/1 to land four for a third time.
For United, Scott McTominay is probably the most appealing price at 6/4 to land 3+ once again having done so in both European starts this campaign (and in three of his six domestic starts).