AC Milan vs. Manchester United Odds, Picks & Predictions: How To Bet Thursday’s Europa League Match
Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images. Pictured: AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
- Global soccer powers AC Milan and Manchester United square off Thursday in a crucial Europa League match.
- The Italian side should get a boost with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be facing his old club.
- Matt Trebby details why he thinks playing the total is the right way to go below.
AC Milan vs. Manchester United Odds
|AC Milan Odds||+230|
|Manchester United Odds||+118|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-106 / -117)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 4 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
After a thrilling end to the first leg, AC Milan and Manchester United will close their Europa League Round of 16 tie Thursday at San Siro Stadium.
Milan was in control of the first meeting at Old Trafford, winning the expected-goals battle by a 1.7-0.8 margin, but it took a stoppage-time header from center back Simon Kjaer to give the visitor a 1-1 draw.
These clubs with rich history had differing results against top teams in their respective domestic leagues this past weekend, so let’s dig into where the betting value lies in tournament play.
After its impressive performance in Manchester, Milan all but conceded the Serie A title to city rival Inter Milan in a 1-0 home loss to Napoli, which ended with Ante Rebic being sent off. It was the perfect summation of Milan’s frustration, having been atop the league for most of 2020 before an Inter charge that started with the new year overtook the club.
The Rossoneri appear set to get a big boost for this matchup with the Red Devils, though. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who completed a full training session Tuesday, is expected to be available for selection against his former club.
Ibrahimovic last played on Feb. 28 in a 2-1 win over Roma, which was a stellar game that gave Milan fans a speckle of hope that it was still in the title race. Since then, though, the clubs has won just once in four games between domestic and international play.
Without Ibrahimovic, Milan has registered more than 1.00 xG twice in four games, including just 0.7 xG against Hellas Verona and 0.9 xG on the weekend against Napoli, according to FBref.com.
A startling statistic entering this game for Milan: The Rossoneri are just 6-4-4 at the San Siro in league play this season. For a team with Milan’s ambition, that is simply not good enough, especially facing a Manchester United team that has thrived away from home this season.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in 15 Premier League away fixtures this campaign, with their two best performances of the season both coming away from Old Trafford.
In the previous Europa round, Manchester United progressed past Real Sociedad, thanks to a thumping 4-0 victory in Spain. The Red Devils were good value for the strong result, winning the xG battle by a 3.0-0.7 margin, according to FBRef.com.
The other impressive away result came almost two weeks ago on the other side of Manchester in England’s top flight. Manchester United took things to its city rival and uncrowned league champion Manchester City, securing a 2-0 victory and taking the xG advantage as well.
Manchester United also delivered last weekend against a West Ham United team that shockingly has decent credentials for a potential top-four league finish. The Red Devils took down the Hammers, 1-0, and all but secured a top-four spot in the process, moving nine points ahead of their opponents.
Betting Analysis & Pick
One reason for the lackluster Manchester United performance in the first leg was a lack of creativity, aside from Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. Mason Greenwood, who has been out of form this season, started on the right wing and the unimpressive Daniel James was on the left.
The Red Devils are likely to get Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial back, while there’s a chance Paul Pogba will even be in the squad. Marcus Rashford could continue his spell on the sideline, though.
Milan got good news over the weekend, though, with the return of Hakan Calhanoglu to the lineup against Napoli. He played 60 minutes in that match and combined with Ibrahimovic would make Milan a much more lethal attack.
Manchester United will have to score if it wants to go through because of Kjaer’s late goal at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Milan will not want to sit back and defend its advantage for 90 minutes against a strong Red Devils side.
Last week, the under hit for us. This week, I’m going over the total. This game is poised to be fantastic, with both sides clearly committed to winning the Europa crown. Instead of picking a side and cheering on one to win, we’re going to sit back and root for goals.
With the potential influx of playmakers returning for both sides, backing the total over 2.5 goals at -106 odds via DraftKings is definitely worth wagering on.
Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-106)