Two giants of English football face off against two giants of Spanish football on Thursday in America as Manchester United take on Barcelona before Manchester City face Real Madrid. Last time out Manchester United beat Real Madrid 2-1 on penalties after the game finished 1-1. Jesse Lingard gave Jose Mourinho’s side the lead before Casemiro equalised for the reigning European and La Liga champions.
After 90 minutes of deadlock, an equally disappointing penalty shootout followed in which seven of the ten spot kicks were either missed or saved. Casemiro who had earlier scored in the game, missed the all important spot kick to hand The Red Devils a hard fought victory.
Jose Mourinho’s side have now played four games on their tour of the U.S. and look to be hitting their stride heading into the new season. Next time out they face a Barcelona side who beat Juventus 2-1 last time out. In that game Neymar scored two wonderful goals to give the Catalan club a well deserved victory and the players will be looking to impress their new manager again on Thursday.
Ladbrokes are offering odds of 11/4 on Manchester United winning the game in 90 minutes and considering their form so far in pre-season that could be a great bet. Mourinho’s side have played more games than their opponents and the team look to be purring at the moment with new man Romelu Lukaku linking well with the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
Another tempting bet could be a Half Time/Full Time bet of Manchester United – Draw at 14/1. Mourinho’s side have started quickly in recent games with the manager usually selecting a strong team from the start, before changing things up in the second half. Therefore, odds of 14/1 look extremely tempting on the first half team doing the business, before a host of changes in the second half break the momentum.
If you fancy Barcelona for the victory, then they are available at odds of 17/20, which to me, don’t represent great value for money considering the opposition. Neymar FGS is available at odds of 9/4 (Ladbrokes) and that could be worth a punt after the Brazilian looked in majestic form against Juventus last time out. Luis Suarez is available for the same odds and Lionel Messi is slightly shorter at 8/5 for both FGS and LGS.
Friendly matches are never easy to predict, but Manchester United have looked in good shape this pre-season and therefore I believe the smart money would be on them to pick up another win on Thursday.