Pre-Season Friendlies: Bank on more Man United goals

Wayne Rooney has been made to feel loved by Louis van Gaal

Michael Lintorn assesses the two International Champions Cup matches taking place in Wednesday's early hours...

"If Man United do line up in a 3-4-1-2 in the Premier League, Rooney will be the big beneficiary, and may be worth investing in to be the division’s top scorer at 17.016/1."

Inter v Man United
Wednesday, 00:00
Live on MUTV

Match Odds: Inter 4.67/2, Man United 1.834/5, The Draw 4.1

Louis van Gaal has made it clear that he would like to persist with the 3-4-1-2 formation that he used at the World Cup and in Man United's first two pre-season friendlies in the Premier League, because it enables Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to all start in their strongest positions.

The uncertainty lies in whether he has enough capable wing backs to make it viable. It should be as Luke Shaw, Rafael da Silva and Antonio Valencia all marry defensive savvy with attacking prowess, but doubts over Shaw's fitness and an injury to Rafael have disrupted the experimentation period.

If Man United do line up in a 3-4-1-2 rather than a 4-3-3 in the Premier League, Rooney will be the big beneficiary as it guarantees him a starting spot in his favoured role, whereas he is vulnerable to being shunted out or benched in the latter. The England-captain-in-waiting may therefore be worth investing in to be the division's top scorer at 17.016/1, a price which ranks him as sixth favourite.

As for their latest stateside showdown against Inter, over 2.5 goals looks the most attractive punting option at [1.74] given that Man United's two prior friendlies finished 7-0 and 3-2.

Roma v Real Madrid
Wednesday, 02:15
Live on Sky Sports 1

Match Odds: Roma 5.39/2, Real Madrid 1.75/7, The Draw 4.216/5

There is a solid case for laying Real Madrid at 1.715/7 to defeat Roma in Texas because they opened their International Champions Cup campaign with a penalty shootout loss to a less formidable Serie A side in Inter and are still without several of their World Cup attendees, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

Roma rallied in the second half of their 2-3 reverse against Man United, aided by the introduction of Miralem Pjanic and Francesco Totti and were in the helpful position of not having too many players at the World Cup, despite boasting a quality squad which has been backed in to 3.8514/5 to top Serie A.

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