Pick Manchester United to Take 1-0 Victory Over Shakhtar

Mike Richardson

Monday, December 9, 2013 10:24 PM GMT

Tuesday night sees Manchester United get a chance to steady the ship when they take on Shakhtar in the Champions League but regardless of what solace they take off the pitch your Humble Handicapper is expecting to clear up down the bookies.

The Red Devils have tied up their place in the knock out stages, and either Shakhtar Donetsk or Bayer Leverkusen from Group A will join them there. United may have already booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about the result. After back to back home defeats for the firsts time in god only knows how long they need a good result and a positive lift.

Under fire Moyes (was there anyone who didn’t hear the jubilant Geordies singing “Sacked in  the morning to their opposition’s boss as  the final whistle approached on Saturday) says he takes "complete responsibility" for the recent run of poor form but is confident his team will improve. (For his sake they better).

His side have lost their last two Premier League games (both at home) and are 13 points behind leaders Arsenal. The Reds are at soccer odds of 33/1 to win the Premier League this season and ½ not to finish in the top four. And just to gild the lily a little more Moyes is 500/1 to be December’s manager of the month (the same odds as bottom of the league Sunderland’s Gus Poyet).

Enough with the Premier League…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?

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Moyes’ boys have 11 Champions League points after five games and a goal difference of +8. That puts them right on top of the Group, but Shakhtar could tie them on points if they overturn the Reds on Tuesday night.

The bookies seem to think that Man Utd will still win the group, they’re at 2/7 while Shakhtar are 7/2. If you fancy Shakhtar doing the do why not back them winning everything on offer on Tuesday night, however your Humble Handicapper thinks that will be a bridge to far for  the visitors.

A point would be enough to guarantee United progression as group leaders.

Mann Utd winning this match is offered up at soccer odds of 11/10, while the sporstbooks fancy a draw at 5/2 (just) ahead of a Shakhtar win at 11/4.

And the last time these sides met the game ended 1-1, something offered up at 7/1 this time round.

If you think that Shakhtar won’t beat United, but will still qualify you can get best soccer odds on them doing that at 18/19. The only other contender for qualification is Bayer Leverkusen who are 10/11 to make it through.

As an aside either Leverkusen or Shakhtar will also finish third in Group A and go into the consolation competition of the Europa League.

It will be a United victory but it won't be that impressive, and for my soccer picks in this match I will back Under 2.5 goals at 10/11.

Prediction: Man United win 1-0 available at 8/1 with Stan James.