This is a very tough match to call. United are incredibly motivated to win , that sounds obvious, of course they are, but this goes beyond the desire to progress in the biggest club competition in the world. They feel violated by the events in Rome and are determined to get revenge on the pitch.
However, they are short defensively and will miss Neville and Vidic, in addition to Scholes and Saha. Roma are masters of the counter attack and will, no doubt be looking to get forward very quickly, whenever the opportunity arises. The visitors will miss their key midfielder Simone Perrotta and will make a late decision on talisman, Francesco Totti, but it is unthinkable that he will not take, at least some, part.
Roma have lost just once in 22 starts, that coming at Empoli, immediately before a key Champions League match. They have scored 2 or more, in 15 of those fixtures. Roma have been in the shadow of Inter for much of the domestic season, but the 2-0 win at Lyon made Europe sit up and take notice, of the team from the Eternal City.
I find it hard to see anything other than a very cautious opening from both sides.
United have gone in level at the break, a score that will suit the visitors, in 7 of their 9 European ties this campaign, going on to win 5 of them. My selection is the half time stalemate, a bet that we got correct twice at the weekend, we can, of course, expect the match to open up in the second half.
No more bets today, but I have noticed some stats that are worthwhile passing on and I will put them online shortly.
4 points half time draw Manchester United-Roma 2.30 exchanges// 2.20 general. lost -4 pts