The Punter: Manchester United away days crucial in treble chase
Published 23/02/2011 | 08:00
Four away games on the trot will go a long way towards determining the silverware that ends up at Old Trafford at the end of the season.
The first of those is in France tonight followed by trips to Wigan, Chelsea and Liverpool.
There should be at least one trophy — most likely the Premier League — but a repeat of Champions League, title and FA Cup, as in 1999, is unlikely. However, those who fancy it can have 25-1.
United go into tonight's last-16 Champions League clash with Marseille with an impressive away record, winning nine of their last 10 including three this season.
It won't be easy for Fergie's boys but the French champions, under Didier Deschamps, have injury problems surrounding Andre-Pierre Gignac and Mathieu Valbeuna, a player attracting the interest of United. There is also a doubt surrounding main striker, Brazilian Brandao.
Forget that poor United display against Crawley Town. It will be a much different side this evening and 23-20 is what the layers are asking for an away win.
In the circumstances, Marseille are an attractive bet at 5-2 but the call has to be a draw at 9-4 which will more than satisfy Fergie (pictured). Leaving the draw out, it is 6-4 Marseille and 1-2 United.
As for the other game tonight, a repeat of last year's final, Inter Milan at 5-4 can take a first leg lead over Bayern Munich.
It is not often we see United advancing in the FA Cup and their price to win outright going on the drift. But that's what has happened, with United facing Arsenal in the next round provided the Gunners, as expected, overcome Leyton Orient.
At 11-4 — and with home advantage over the Londoners — United are a tempting bet. In fact, 3-1 an all-Manchester final is worth a tilt.
Best FA Cup prices: 11-4 Man Utd; 4-1 Arsenal; 9-2 Man City; 17-2 Everton; 12-1 Stoke City; 16-1 Bolton; 18-1 Birmingham; 22-1 Aston Villa; 28-1 West Ham; 150-1 Burnley; 200-1 Reading; 300-1 Leyton Orient.