United Looking To Take Control
Sir Alex Ferguson, whose eagerly-awaited autobiography is published today, is forever talking about the importance of ‘control’ and that’s what everybody at Manchester United will be looking for when Real Sociedad visit tomorrow night.
New boss David Moyes will want his team to get on top, score a goal or two and then stay in control of the game and, by the end of the night, also in control of Group A with the half the games completed.
It looks a straight forward task – Coral go 1/2 they take all three points – but the trouble is, the Reds have had trouble controlling the agenda in the Premier League this season, even at Old Trafford, once such a formidable fortress.
Moyes will be urging his men to finish off Sociedad when, or if, they get ahead; the bitter disappointment of Southampton’s late equaliser last Saturday still fresh in his mind..
The Spanish outfit are struggling even more than United on the domestic front, flirting with the relegation zone until a surprise and very welcome 2-1 away victory at Valencia last weekend.
Pointless from two games in the Group, Sociedad would appear to be there for the taking, but they ran Bayer Leverkusen very close in Germany last time and might just be running back into the sort of form that enabled them to pip Valencia for fourth spot in La Liga last season.
Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela will be a familiar face. He never did United damage when he was a Gunner, but they saw enough of him to know that he can be a real threat. He’s 7/2 to silence the home fans with a goal during the 90 minutes.
There may come a time, quite soon even, when the Champions League looks a better bet for United than the Premier League – at the moment Coral go 8/1 they defend their Premiership crown and 12/1 they win the Champions League.
Certainly, Moyes hasn’t got off to the start he hoped for and one of the problems seems to be a lack of creative fire in midfield, which is surprising when you look at how many big names (ten internationals) they have to call on in that area.
The emergence of the one player who isn’t an international, Adnan Januzaj (although that’s another story), has been one of the bright spots for Moyes and now the brilliant young winger has the chance to light up the European stage.
Januzaj is 2/1 to get on the scoresheet tomorrow (7/1 first or last), which is a measure of how far he has progressed in such a short time with only United’s famous front-men at shorter prices.
Reds fans love European nights like this, but it will be more tense than usual until they can get a lead and even then, nobody will be breathing easily until the game is put to bed. It could be quite tight, maybe 1-0 (7/1) or 2-1 (15/2).