Manchester United take on AC Milan in their Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday in a 5:55pm kick-off at Old Trafford.
United comfortably dispatched Real Sociedad 4-0 on aggregate in the previous round, with Milan overcoming Red Star Belgrade on away goals after two score draws.
Bet Builder Credits : Use code CTALK100 when you sign up – see below
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. *The bonus code CTALK100 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way 18+ begambleaware #ad
United are odds-on 8/13 favourites to win the first leg, with the draw 3/1 and a Milan win 9/2.
Milan have been superb on the road domestically this season, winning 11 and drawing one of their 13 away games in Serie A, where they currently occupy second place, six points behind their city rivals Inter Milan.
United are also second behind their city rivals, albeit by a much greater margin, but have been less convincing at home this season, taking 21 points from 13 home games.
However, the Red Devils are unbeaten in 15 home games in the Europa League, with the visitors suffering several injuries to first-team players.
In their 19 league and European away games, Milan have only failed to score once. Likewise, United have only failed to score twice at home in the league this season.
As such, I fancy BTTS and 1+ card each team at 13/10. United to win & BTTS also has considerable appeal at 12/5, especially considering the Europa League saw some real goal-fests in the previous round.
Slavko Vincic is a decent referee for cards backers, too, having shown seven in the first leg of RB Leipzig v Liverpool last month.
The Slovenian has averaged 4.53 cards per game across his 17 career Europa League games, averaging four across his two previous knockout games in the competition.
One player I am keen on to be carded is Diogo Dalot, who is eligible to face United despite being on loan at Milan from them.
The full-back will be keen to impress, but may have a tough time of things against Marcus Rashford or Daniel James depending on which side he starts on. Dalot has been carded three times in six league starts for the Italian outfit this season, averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.5 fouls per game in the Europa League, so 4/1 (bet365) seems good value.
There’s plenty of other players who appeal in fairness, with Alessio Romagnoli, Franck Kessie and Theo Hernandez all booked seven times each in Serie A this season. Romagnoli has two cautions to his name In this competition, with Hernandez and Kessie two players who rank high for tackles and fouls per game.
Harry Maguire now has 10 bookings to his name in domestic and continental action, meanwhile, with Luke Shaw moving onto six league yellow cards after I successfully backed him against Manchester City at the weekend.
I quite like the look of a Romagnoli and Maguire double at 14/1 (Betfair). Both centre-backs are unafraid to take a tactical foul, while Kessie will be keeping close tabs on Bruno Fernandes throughout the 90 minutes, so adding him makes a nice 55/1 longshot.