They may have made it through in spectacular style last night, but bookies and punters alike don’t seem to be rating Manchester United’s chances of going any further in this season’s Champions League – as to put it politely, United are eight favourites out of the eight teams left in the competition.
It was a great win for United last night. A lot of people were writing them off, and I thought there was a strong possibility that they wouldn’t be able to keep a clean sheet. They started the night at odds against to qualify (Olympiakos were 5/11 favourites, United 2/1), so it was by no means a certainty that they were going to get through.
Despite qualifying though, punters still don’t think there is any realistic chance of them winning the competition. United are currently last in the betting, at a best price of 20/1 with SkyBet (£30.00 Free Bet for New Customers).
To put it into some sort of perspective, you can get shorter odds on Moyes in the sack race. He is currently a best price of 12/1 with SkyBet to be the next manager to leave his position. In fairness, these odds are suggesting that neither outcome is likely to materialise.
United do seem to have saved their best performances for Europe though. If they could get some form together that 20/1 could be massive.
Pundits were quick to point out on Sky Sports last night that Moyes hadn’t been picking Ryan Giggs lately. This suggests to me that it was because Moyes has been looking for combinations for next season, in other words he hasn’t been picking his strongest starting XI.
He isn’t going to be experimenting in the next round of the Champions League, he will surely be picking his best eleven.
There are no weak teams left in the tournament at this stage, but even given that, if Manchester United can avoid the obvious three of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the next round, they will still have a slight chance of progressing further.