Sir Alex Ferguson will consider the next seven days as a good time to be without Wayne Rooney. It appears that the Manchester United’s striker tweaked hamstring will keep him sidelined for a fortnight and the Red Devils have two winnable home matches against Basel and Norwich in that time.
Having drawn 1-1 at Benfica a fortnight ago, United will now look to stamp their authority on Group C and they should prove too strong for the champions of Switzerland. Ladbrokes (£50 free bets) offer 1/5 about the home team winning this game, with some bookmakers only prepared to quote 1/8.
The absence of Rooney and Javier Hernandez means that Dimitar Berbatov gets another chance in attack and Ferguson will also be tempted to select Michael Owen considering that the striker scored twice against Leeds United last week in the Carling Cup. Owen stated last week that he was still keen on an England return and he is 11/2 (Victor Chandler – £25 free betting) to break the deadlock.
Basel are not to be taken lightly considering that they won their Champions League opener to go top of the group, although a 2-1 win against Romanian champions O?elul Gala?i was hardly convincing and a late penalty was required to help the Swiss side to victory.
Even so, we should expect the visitors to present a solid defence at Old Trafford and the game is 6/1 to finish in a draw, just as United’s match at Stoke was on Saturday evening.
If you think the Red Devils will win at a canter, continuing their recent excellent home form against Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, then Sky Bet go 4/7 about United leading at half-time and full-time, while a 3-0 victory can be backed at 7/1.