Manchester United are expected to get the Louis van Gaal era off to the best of starts by cruising to victory against Swansea in the season’s curtain raiser at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been hugely impressive during pre-season, winning all eight of their friendly fixtures against the likes of Roma, Liverpool and Real Madrid, and look certain to take that momentum in the league.
However, such has been United’s improvement under Van Gaal that the hosts are an unappealing 1/3 to take all three points in Saturday’s early kick-off.
With that not being a working man’s price here Ladbrokes News’ James Curtis looks at three of the best bets available for the fixture.
With the United win not attractively priced it could pay to take the longer odds on a victory with both teams scoring.
United have won five and drawn one of the six meetings since the Swans’ promotion to the top flight and four of the last five clashes in all competitions have seen both sides find the back of the net.
While United have impressed under Van Gaal there are still question marks over the defence that has conceded in four of its last five outings and the likes of Wilfried Bony will fancy their chances.
If backing United to take the spoils in a game that sees both sides net it’s be a shame to ignore the 22/1 on a repeat outcome of last season’s opening day result.
United ran out 4-1 winners that day and while Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck – who netted a brace apiece back then – are unlikely to feature, Wayne Rooney has a point to prove against the Welsh side.
The new United captain is yet to score against the Liberty Stadium outfit and with a prolific pre-season under his belt and the responsibility of leading his team, Rooney could fill his boots here.
If Rooney gets his goal early the flood gates could open but if his Swansea shutout is to continue no one looks better placed to step up to the plate than the diminutive Spaniard.
Mata netted twice in pre-season – against Liverpool and Roma – but it’s his recent record in competitive fixtures that inspires confidence.
His goal in Spain’s 3-0 World Cup win over Australia means the former Chelsea player of the season has now netted seven goals in as many games for club and country. Back him to net again and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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