United struggles to continue

Ben Linfoot previews tonight's action in the UEFA Champions League and he expects Real Sociedad to do well at Old Trafford.

Last Updated: 23/10/13 at 19:02 Post Comment

It could be a tough night for Manchester United

It could be a tough night for Manchester United

Ben Linfoot previews Wednesday's action in the UEFA Champions League and he expects Real Sociedad to do well at Old Trafford.

If you're having a bet in the Manchester United game on Wednesday night the question you should be asking yourself is this: do you really trust them in their current form to beat Real Sociedad at odds of 4/7?

From what we've seen of David Moyes' outfit so far this campaign it takes a huge leap of faith to get involved at that price and I'm keen to get with the Spaniards, despite a less than impressive run of results themselves.

However, despite failing to win in eight games prior to their 2-1 win over Valencia at the weekend, Real Sociedad hadn't been playing too badly and the best of their form suggests they are being underestimated by the bookies at Old Trafford.

In their run of six La Liga games without a victory they only lost by more than one goal once; when beaten 4-1 by Barcelona.

Their two other defeats were by a single goal - one against one of the form teams in Europe in Atletico Madrid - while the other three games obviously ended in stalemate.

The bottom line is they weren't outplayed in any of those fixtures and at the weekend they turned the corner when beating Valencia. With confidence restored, they will be a tough nut to crack in Manchester.

Confidence is something the Red Devils could do with at present. They've won just two games in their last six, one of those a fairly fortunate 1-0 win over Liverpool in the League Cup, and their recent home form leaves a lot to be desired following a 2-1 defeat to West Brom and a 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Traditionally United have struggled against Spanish opposition, not scoring more than once in their last 12 Champions League games against teams from La Liga.

On top of that they have only won once in their last six Old Trafford games against Spanish opponents and while that includes quality sides from Barcelona and Real Madrid, it could be a valid point that they haven't excelled against teams that play patient football and keep the ball well.

Real Sociedad were also a tad unfortunate not to get anything against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany in their last group game, going down to an injury-time winner.

The bet that appeals is Real Sociedad on the Asian Handicap +1 at 21/20 with bet365.

A win or draw for the La Liga outfit sees this bet land, while stakes are returned if United win by a goal - a welcome insurance that makes this a more appealing bet than slightly better odds on the double chance.

Earlier on in the evening Manchester City take on CSKA in Moscow and despite the absence of Vincent Kompany the Premier League side could be worth chancing to 'win to nil' at 9/4.

Despite their relatively patchy domestic form City have failed to score only once this season, in a 0-0 draw at Stoke, while their defence will rarely come up against an attack as devoid of confidence as CSKA's on Wednesday.

Remarkably, CSKA have failed to score in their last five league games, a run that has included four defeats. Given this match is a few levels above their domestic competition chances are going to be fewer and they could snatch at the ones they do get.

City looked in good nick at West Ham and though they were outplayed by Bayern Munich the last time they took to the pitch in the Champions League, this is a far easier assignment.

It's difficult to see much value elsewhere on the coupon, with the likes of PSG and Bayer Leverkusen priced prohibitively but rightly so. They both look accumulator material.

Wednesday Champions League verdicts:

CSKA 0 Man City 3

Anderlecht 1 PSG 2

Bayer Leverkusen 2 Shakhtar 0

Bayern Munich 5 Plzen 0

Benfica 2 Olympiakos 1

Galatasaray 1 Copenhagen 0

Manchester United 1 Real Sociedad 1

Real Madrid 3 Juventus 2


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