FC Rostov v Manchester United Betting Tips: Olimp-2 to witness a few goals
Football writer and Russian football expert Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Europa League match between Russian side FC Rostov and Manchester United.
Manchester United face a gruelling trip to Rostov-on-Don on Thursday night and, although many expect it to be a walkover for United, Rostov are no pushovers and will likely put in a competitive performance.
Rostov knocked out Czech side Sparta Prague in impressive fashion in the previous Europa League knockout round. They then followed this up with a fantastic 6-0 victory over Tom Tomsk when the Russian Premier League season resumed last weekend. Selmashi will feel they have a good chance against United as they put in fantastic performances against Bayern Munich (winning 3-2) and Atletico Madrid (narrowly losing) in this season’s Champions League group stage.
Ivan Daniliants’ men have based their game on being solid at the back before hitting teams on the counter, along with a high press. They currently have the second-best defensive record in the Russian league with just 12 goals conceded in 18 games whilst they have also kept two clean sheets in their last three in all competitions. They may not be that good going forward but strikers Dmitry Poloz and highly-coveted Sardar Azmoun are a threat against any side. It is worth noting that Azmoun in particularly has turned it on in performances against big clubs in recent months.
Olimp-2 has been a fortress for Rostov and they have only lost once there in Europe this season, and even that was a narrow defeat to Atletico Madrid. Furthermore, they have kept three clean sheets in their last three matches on home soil.
Despite being up against ten men for most of the match, Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw against AFC Bournemouth in their last game, putting an abrupt end to their six-match winning streak.
United have been guilty of not taking their chances in a lot of matches this season which means they only have the seventh-best goalscoring record in the Premier League. However, manager Jose Mourinho has got his side organised at the back and they have conceded just 22 goals in 26 games with an impressive ten clean sheets recorded.
The Red Devils are on a decent run of form away from Old Trafford having won their last three. However, it is worth noting that they have lost half of their Europa League matches on their travels so far this campaign and a long trip to south Russia could be another potential banana skin.
Manchester United are the favourites here and that is no surprise, however, I think Rostov could pull off an upset here and frustrate the Mancunians. Having said that, backing the hosts is probably not the best bet. Instead, ‘2-3 Total Goals’ is the better option. Both teams have the ability to hurt the other, but with both also looks useful at the back, an overly high-scoring match doesn’t seem likely. Either side winning 2-0 or 2-1 wouldn’t be a surprise, while a 1-1 draw is certainly possible.
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