Weblog: The football punter

Manchester's two tribes taking different approach

LOUIS VAN GAAL’S United, the dreariest thing to come out of Manchester since the Inspiral Carpets, get a chance to come out of their shell in the Champions League.

I thought they were almost Brazil-like for a good six or seven minutes at Watford at the weekend before the West Brom in them took over.

I reckon a gung-ho assault on PSV would get United the three points they need to sew up a last-16 spot but it ain’t gonna happen, is it? The Tony Pulis of the Low Countries will roll up his sleeves, batten down the hatches and go in search of the 1-0 win courtesy of a scrambled own goal from a Marouane Fellaini mishit, and the red half of Manchester will rejoice.

Rather than back United to win 1-0 I’ll back City to lose in Turin, instead.

If United have changed, I don’t think City have. They’ll play their part in a thriller against a Juventus team in something of a decline but good enough to win this one.

Bet of the night, though, is Sevilla at Monchengladbach from the same group. If you’re good enough to beat both Barcelona and Real Madrid in the same season you’ve clearly got something about you and the Spanish lads can finally kickstart their season with a priceless win in Germany.

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Match in Focus

18:00 Th 26Nov BTEU

FK Qarabag v Tottenham

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Qarabag are unbeaten in their last five European home matches
Expert verdict
Tottenham are likely to rest a number of key players with one eye on Sunday’s lunchtime clash with Chelsea so there is no desire to back them given this mammoth trip. Qarabag have beaten Anderlecht at home and drawn with Monaco and can keep it competitive.