They head into an EFL Cup Final against Southampton this Sunday, have a place in the Quarter-Finals of the Emirates FA Cup and their progression to the last 16 of the Europa League is all-but-confirmed. So, could Manchester United defy expectation to secure an incredible cup treble?
Well, it might be a long shot at 28/1, but there’s actually plenty of reason to believe they could come good on that price. That’s because…
League Cup and recent Wembley record is impressive
It’s fair to say United have been something of a winning machine when it comes to their recent history in the League Cup Final, so we’re backing them to get step one done without too much trouble in this Sunday’s EFL Cup Final against Southampton.
The Red Devils have won each of their last three finals in this competition, conceding just a single goal en route to victories over Wigan Athletic (2006), Tottenham (2009) and Aston Villa (2010).
And the club’s Wembley record in the last 12 months also shows they’re once again becoming a real force at the national stadium. Victories over Everton and Crystal Palace in HA9 secured the Emirates FA Cup trophy last term, before Jose Mourinho kicked off his United reign with a 2-1 victory over Leicester City in the Community Shield.
Ibra is a genuine difference-maker
To win trophies, and in particular to triumph in cup finals, you need a world-class performer who can net those big goals under pressure.
In the 1990s, that was Eric Cantona, who scored the winner in the 1994 and 1996 FA Cup Finals. In the 2000s, it was Cristiano Ronaldo, netting in multiple finals, to secure League Cup and Champions League glory alike.
This time around, they have Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The talismanic Swede scored twice in last season’s Coupe de La Ligue final for PSG last season, as well as grabbing a brace in 2015’s Coupe de France final. Oh, and he’s also scored in a Manchester derby and a crucial clash against Liverpool this season – along with 21 other goals.
There’s a strong argument that he’s the prime example of a big game player in English football right now, and could well be the difference maker to lead United to EFL Cup and FA Cup glory at 8/1, with 28/1 for him to help them realise that cup treble dream.
Mourinho’s squad has strength in depth
Despite a few crucial omissions due to injury and a more or less first-choice starting XI on the pitch, Manchester United’s bench against Saint-Etienne on Thursday night reflected the high calibre of player Mourinho can call on in virtually every position.
Those subs included UCL and World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, teenage prodigy Marcus Rashford, Argentine defensive powerhouse Marcos Rojo and Italy stalwart Matteo Darmian. Oh, and Jesse Lingard, who netted in the Emirates FA Cup final last season.
The fact that those players are simply back-ups, ready – and able – to slot in and produce impressive displays at any time shows just how impressive this United squad is.
With strong defensive options, a perfect blend of steel and style between the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and one of the most fearsome strike forces in English football spearheaded by Ibrahimovic, you can’t rule them out of any of these three competitions right now.
Next up for the Red Devils is the second leg of their Europa League tie against St Etienne, with 11/10 available for United to secure progression in style with victory at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing