December 8, 2016

Zorya Luhansk v Man Utd Asian Handicap Preview – Thursday 8th December by @SC457

Zorya Luhansk v Man Utd – Slavutych Arena, Zaporizhia at 18:00 live on BT Sport 3

The last group matches of the Europa League take place this evening with the draw for the knockout stages to take place on Monday. I focus my attentions on Man United’s trip to FC Zorya where they need a point to secure a place in the last 32. Although I expect Mourinho and co. to be in the draw come Monday, it’s the hosts who offer some value in the Asian Handicap market.

FC Zorya

This is the first time Zorya have made it to the group stages of a European competition. Regardless of the result tonight, the Ukrainians will be departing the tournament as the groups weakest team, however they have exceeded many expectations.

Yuriy Vernydub’s side have already held Fenerbahce and Feyenoord to 1-1 draws on home soil. They have lost all of their 3 away fixtures, but narrowly. They lost just 1-0 at Old Trafford and by the same score against Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

Their defence is a strength, only conceding more than a single goal in one of their 5 UEL matches. Losing to Fenercahce in Turkey 2-0. However, at the other end of the pitch they have struggled, scoring just 2 in this competition so far.

Zorya come into this match having failed to win any of their last 6 games so confidence will be low. But, they have raised their game this season in Europe.

Man Utd

The Europa League has been something of a battle for the Red Devil’s this season. They have lost each of their two away matches against Feyenoord and Fenerbahce but have a 100% record at home. They struggled somewhat against Zorya at Old Trafford, defeating the Ukrainians by a single goal to nil, but thumped both Feyenoord and Fenerbahce in style, 4-1 and 4-0 respectively.

A point tonight would see them through safely, but they could also progress if losing and Feynoord fail to beat Fenerbahce. I don’t see United needing that favour however.

United’s performances have been steadily improving both domestically and in Europe, but results have been disappointing. In recent weeks they have often been the better team, but failed to win. Draws with Arsenal, West Ham and Everton, could have and arguably should have been 9 points instead of just 3.

So the pressure is still on Mourinho, but I believe the results will start to improve.

Asian Handicap & Total Goals

At 1.35, Man Utd are too short here for me considering they are yet to win away from home in the Europa League this season. They have also won just two of their last 8 matches in all competitions.

There is every chance they could put on a real display, but the value is with Zorya on the Asian Handicap market. They are rarely beaten by more than a single goal, just twice in their last 18 competitive matches.

There is also some value on the goals market. All 5 of the hosts UEL matches have seen fewer than 3 goals. Five of Utd’s last 9 in all competitions have also failed to break the three goal barrier.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: FC Zorya +1.5 at 1.89 & Under 2.5 at 1.98

Prices correct at time of writing.

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