Nani ready to prove himself as squad comes under scrutiny

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A second string United side emphasised Wayne Rooney’s concerns last night as they laboured to a win over a poor Bursaspor side.

Nani’s fine seventh minute strike was all that separated the teams when the final whistle blew, and the Portuguese winger was the only highlight on a dour night at Old Trafford.

With Rooney nowhere in sight, Old Trafford was clouded in a tense atmosphere as Alex Ferguson strode up the touchline three minutes into the game, earning polite applause from a crowd that was expected to back their manager in the Rooney affair.

But the win strengthened Man Utd’s position at the top of Group C, and with Rangers and Valencia sharing the spoils in Scotland, a win in Turkey in a fortnight’s time would put them in a strong position to win the group – they are 1/5 to top the group.

The performance aside, Ferguson will be happy with the three points, knowing that the better performances are needed in the knock-out stages of a tournament Man Utd are now 8/1 to win, after being 6/1 before the competition started.

Man Utd face an away trip to Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday, and Ferguson was obviously targeting that as a must win game as he rested many of his first team players.

The strength of the squad will worry Man Utd fans, and if Rooney is to leave Man Utd, he is 1/2 to leave in January, the Stretford End will be clamouring for a big name replacement.

Only Rafael Da Silva, and possibly Anderson, made a case for a starting spot on Saturday as the fringe players failed to convince the Old Trafford faithful that Rooney’s comments are unjust.

Man Utd are 4/6 to beat Stoke as they search for their first away win of the season.

Manchester City are favourites to land the signature of Wayne Rooney at 10/11. See the full UEFA Champions League football betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.