Live on ITV: Wed at 19.45: Wayne Rooney should start for Manchester United at Rangers, where his side are 17/20 favourites with 888Sport.
The bookies were laughing all the way to the bank when Manchester United and Rangers met at Old Trafford, the latter defending stoutly to earn a draw and sink the bets of punters convinced the clash was a home banker.
Once again Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are odds-on favourites, this time at 17/20 with 888Sport, as the pair renew hostilities at Ibrox but while they should break the hosts down this time, Walter Smith’s men could prove to be tricky opposition at home and with fingers burned last time, the match betting is perhaps one to avoid.
Instead, the return of Wayne Rooney is the focus of our attention. The United striker returned from injury on Saturday, making his first appearance since his infamous contract u-turn and with that hurdle out of the way, the pressure will be off him at Ibrox, where he is set to make his first club start since late September.
Rooney will be determined to kickstart what has so far been a frustrating campaign and with doubts about his future firmly behind him, he can concentrate solely on football now so he looks cracking value at 11/8 courtesy of Ladbrokes, to get on the scoresheet in this one.
Boosted by their derby comeback against Arsenal, Tottenham will be full of confidence ahead of the visit of Werder Bremen and Spurs’ mood couldn’t be in starker contrast to their opponents who are in a dismal run of form.
It’s hard to see past Harry Redknapp’s men then but sadly the bookies agree and the best available for a home win is just 1/2 at Coral. Backing them to triumph fairly comfortably would therefore be a better bet and Betfred offer 6/5 for Tottenham to be emerge victorious in the handicaps, where the Bundesliga outfit are given a goal start.
The way the Germans are conceding however, couple with the fact that Spurs aren’t exactly water tight at the back, points to a goal total higher than 2.5 and that can be combined with a home win at 20/21 (Partybets).
Holders Inter are faltering domestically and have a raft of injury concerns so they’re far from appealing at 4/7 with as they face FC Twente. Their current form suggests both teams will get on the scoresheet (3/4, 888Sport) but with neither side convincing, there’s little to get excited about in the San Siro.
Barecelona however, do convince following an 8-0 victory at Almeria at the weekend and although they’re a touch skinny at 2/5 with Betfred to see off Panathinaikos, they should acquire the victory needed to guarantee progression. One man that can make the difference for them is Pedro. The diminutive attacker has three in four in all competitions and is 13/8 (Totesport) to net in Greece.
Rooney to score at any time for Manchester United – 11/8 (Ladbrokes)
Tottenham win and over 2.5 goals in the game – 20/21 (Partybets)
Pedro to score at any time for Barcelona – 13/8 (Totesport)