Manchester United head to Portugal to take on Braga in their latest Champions League match on Wednesday night and a win would secure United's place in the knockout stages. Sir Alex Ferguson's side boast a perfect record of three wins from three in Group H and they are the bookies' favourites for another three points at the Estadio Municipal de Braga this week.
United are priced 21/20 in the match odds with William Hill, who go 21/10 for Braga to win and 9/4 for the draw. Those prices are no doubt based on the fact that United aren't the force they once were in Europe and let's not forget that Braga actually went 2-0 up at Old Trafford two weeks ago before eventually succumbing 3-2.
The recent form of the Reds would suggest they are worthy favourites on Wednesday though as they sit on top of the Premier League following their 2-1 win over Arsenal at the weekend. They easily overpowered the Gunners as Robin van Persie opened the scoring against his former club and the Dutchman is 7/2 to score first with Hills, who go 3/1 for van Persie to score anytime in a United win.
Van Persie scored after just a couple of minutes against Arsenal as United again started a match quickly. They have got over their early season habit of conceding early and having to recover from losing positions and it could be worth a look at a goal being scored between 0-15 minutes at 2/1 in this Braga v Man Utd clash, particularly as each of United's last six Champions League outings have involved a goal in the opening 15 minutes.
There looks to be the potential for goals this week as United have scored in each of their last 19 European matches, with van Persie scoring five in his last six Champions League games, as well 12 for club and country this season. Hills offer 11/5 for United to win and over 2.5 goals in the match combined and that could be worth a look against a Braga side that are yet to convince.
The Portuguese outfit have won their last four European matches at home to English sides but there is a feeling that this current squad isn't quite as strong as some of their recent sides. The veteran Alan is 9/1 to score first with Hills after scoring two at Old Trafford, while Eder can be backed at 11/2 as he attempts to add to his six goals for the season.
Braga are currently third in the Portuguese League after being Maritimo and Gil Vicente in their last two but their Champions League ambitions are hanging by a thread. Braga have just three points in the competition, including a 2-0 loss at home to Cluj, and United could add to their woes on home soil this week. United have won 12 of their last 14 outings and they look decent value for the win as they bid to enhance their own European ambitions.
Braga v Man Utd Form
Check the season's statistics for both Braga and Man Utd, plus the odds ahead of Wednesday's match.
Braga v Man Utd Tips
Tip #1: Robin van Persie to score and Man Utd to win @ 3/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #2: Goal to be scored between 0-15 minutes @ 2/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #3: Man Utd win and over 2.5 goals @ 11/5 with WilliamHill.
21/20 Man Utd
Correct Score Odds
10/1 Braga 1-0
16/1 Braga 2-0
10/1 Braga 2-1
11/1 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
8/1 Man Utd 1-0
11/1 Man Utd 2-0
8/1 Man Utd 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
7/2 Robin van Persie
9/2 Wayne Rooney
6/1 Javier Hernandez
7/1 Danny Welbeck
8/1 Ze Luis
8/1 Ashley Young
10/1 Helder Barbosa
10/1 Shinji Kagawa
Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Champions League matches.
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