A high-scoring encounter is on the cards when last season's Europa League winners begin their Champions League campaign at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, writes James Eastham...
“The Asian Handicap is a tempting selection because all three of Manchester United’s Premier League wins this season have been by two or more goals.”
Best Bet: Man Utd -2.0 Asian Handicap @ [2.00]
Man Utd v FC Basel
Tue, 19:45 BST
Live on BT Sport 2
Manchester United centre-backs Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are suspended. Manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will come into the side. Marouane Fellaini, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are injury doubts.
Basel have no suspensions and appear to have no late injury problems, either.
Man Utd [1.2], FC Basel [19.0], The Draw [8.2]
It's no surprise that Manchester United are runaway favourites to win the game given the clear gulf in quality between the sides. The hosts have better players all over the pitch and will expect to win the match comfortably.
United have won three and draw one of their opening four Premier League games, their only dropped points coming at Stoke City (2-2) on Saturday afternoon. Before that they'd won three straight games scoring 10 times without even conceding, so are in generally excellent form.
Basel lie third in the Swiss Super League and are without a win in their last three games. It's almost impossible to make a case for the visitors getting anything from this trip. The hosts are very short and you'll need to look at the handicap markets to get anything like a value price on Jose Mourinho's men.
Unders [2.48], Overs [1.6]
Manchester United's scoring form makes Overs the smart bet. They've netting 12 goals in four Premier League encounters, scoring six times in two Old Trafford outings.
Throw in the fact that United's ideal centre-back pairing Bailly and Jones are ruled out, and the chances of goals becomes even bigger. It's also worth noting that Basel's seven league games to date have averaged 3.0 goals a game (12 scored, 9 conceded).
Given the likelihood of a high-scoring encounter the bigger odds on Over 3.5 Goals are worth considering. This is available at [2.48] and looks a smart investment.
With Manchester United runaway favourites to win on the night you might prefer backing the hosts with an Asian Handicap start.
United are available with a -2.0 start at [2.00]. That deserves attention given that all three of United's Premier League wins this season have been by two or more goals (4-0 v West Ham, 4-0 at Swansea City, 2-0 v Leicester City). You'll get your money back if United only win by two goals.
Yes [2.52], No [1.6]
United have kept clean sheets in three of four Premier League games to date and will expect to do so here. But there are a couple of reasons to suspect Basel might get on the scoresheet.
The first is that United conceded twice at Stoke City (2-2) at the weekend so have shown some vulnerability in recent days. The second is that first-choice centre-backs Bailly and Jones are ruled out, meaning United will be more fragile than usual at the back.
The third is that Basel arrive in good scoring form. They've netted 12 times in their opening seven league games of the season, making them the second-highest-scoring team in Switzerland.
Ex-Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel's the player to watch for the visitors: he's scored seven times in seven league starts this season, and will be keen to prove a point at Old Trafford after his disappointing spell for the Canaries (1 goal in 25 Premier League appearances in 2013-14).