Midweek UCL and UEL Preview – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK previews the Champions League and Europa League midweek fixtures involving Manchester United and West Ham United…

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 MANCHESTER UNITED v COPENHAGEN 🇩🇰
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 TNT Sports / TNT Sports Ultimate

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It will be an emotional night at Old Trafford on Tuesday as Manchester United entertain FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, a competition the late, great Sir Bobby Charlton held so dear.

After losing their opening two group games for the first time in their illustrious history, there is no margin for error for Erik ten Hag’s side if they are to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.

The Red Devils have at least managed to win their last two Premier League games, although were once again far from convincing in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at basement boys Sheffield United.

They have also slipped to defeat in three of their last five home games so this threatens to be another nail-biting evening for the Red Devils faithful.

Copenhagen were expected to be the whipping boys in the group, but gave Galatasaray an almighty fright on matchday one, leading until late on before drawing 2-2, and also went in front before losing at home to Bayern Munich last time out.

Old Trafford does not hold the fear factor it once did for visiting teams and I would expect the Danish champions to take the game to United and try and exploit their defensive weaknesses.

Knowing only a win will do for the hosts, I like the look of Manchester United to win and both teams to score.

It will be an extra special night for Rasmus Hojlund, who was born in Copenhagen and graduated from their youth academy.

After a few hard-luck stories Hojlund is still waiting for his first Premier League goal but has netted three goals in his first two Champions League games in a United shirt.

A build-a-bet of Hojlund to score at any time and Manchester United to win and both teams to score is 4/1 with starsports.bet

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 NEWCASTLE UNITED v BORUSSIA DORTMUND 🇩🇪
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 TNT Sports 2 / TNT Sports Ultimate

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So far Newcastle have made light work of their so-called ‘group of death’, grinding out a creditable 0-0 draw against AC Milan at the San Siro and thumping PSG at home.

St James’s Park will be rocking again for the invasion of Dortmund’s famous ‘Yellow Wall’ of travelling fans on Wednesday night when victory will leave Eddie Howe’s side in a very strong position to progress to the last 16.

The Magpies could not go into the match in better form having won six and drawn two of their last eight games in all competitions.

Howe’s troops are also scoring for fun and have netted their most goals at this stage of a Premier League season since the golden days of Kevin Keegan’s fabled ‘Entertainers’ in 1994.

Dortmund have won their last five Bundesliga games but have drawn a blank in each of their Champions League games and lost 2-0 to the PSG side Newcastle put so easily to the sword.

Even without the services of the injured Sven Botman, Newcastle have racked up six clean sheets during their eight-match unbeaten run so Newcastle to win and both teams to score no at 11/5 with starsports.bet looks like decent value.

As well as playing a key role in their excellent recent defensive record, full-back Kieran Trippier has also become Newcastle’s assist king, creating five goals already this season, more than any other player in the Premier League.

You can back Trippier to provide an assist at 9/4 with starsports.bet

🇬🇷 OLYMPIACOS v WEST HAM UNITED 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
17:45 TNT Sports 1

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West Ham are looking to bounce back from Sunday’s dreadful 4-1 defeat at Aston Villa as they resume their Europa League campaign with a trip to Olympiacos on Thursday teatime.

Historically Athens is a tough place for visiting teams, but the Greeks have already lost at home to a Freiburg team beaten by the Hammers in Germany.

David Moyes’s side are on a 17 European game unbeaten run, a record for an English side and I fancy that to continue.

Moyes has taken this competition seriously so far in terms of team selection and it is a surprise to me to see them at odds-against to make it three wins from three in the group.

West Ham to win at 21/20 with starsports.bet is my strongest fancy of this mid-week.

ALEX CROOK

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Author: Eugene Morris