It may be dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’ but bookies expect a one-sided scrap at Old Trafford; 888Sport making Sir Alex Ferguson’s boys skinny 1/5 favourites and bet365 rating a Rangers triumph at a colossal 18/1. Manchester United notched three times without reply the last time the pair met in this competition seven years ago and a repeat of that scoreline has already caught the attention of punters, who have backed it into 13/2 with Betfred while Partybets price the hosts at 3/4 to beat Walter Smith’s troops ‘to nil’.
Smith is sure to send out his side to keep things tight and the Rangers boss would certainly settle for a draw (6/1, Betdaq) but despite all of the pressure being on the home side, they aren’t expected to freeze. Regardless of the result, the travelling fans will make plenty of noise south of the border and Wayne Rooney in particular can expect a warm welcome from the ‘Gers supporters. Neverthless, champing the bit having been left out at former club Everton, the England striker catches the eye at 11/4 courtesy of Ladbrokes to put his personal problems to one side and break the deadlock.
At the Weserstadion, Tottenham are Victor Chandler’s 12/5 outsiders to start the Champions League group phase with a victory against Werder Bremen, who are Stan James’s 6/5 favourites. Harry Redknapp’s men will certainly have to perform better than they did in the away leg of their qualifying tie against Young Boys if they are to emerge with anything from the clash, but steeled by that experience, Spurs can nick a point in Germany; a result Totesport rate at 5/2.
William Hill post 7/1 against Tottenham holding the Bundesliga outfit to a 1-1 draw while elsewhere, Stan James quote 4/9 for Benfica to see off Hapoel Tel Aviv, Barcelona are a banker at home to Pananthinaikos but are a touch prohibitive at 1/8 (Jaxx.com), holders Inter Milan don’t appeal at 10/11 with Betdaq to prevail at Twente, the games at Bursaspor and FC Copenhagen are 23/10 with Jaxx.com and Ladbrokes respectively to finish all square, but Lyon (evens, 888Sport) should get the better of Schalke.