Odds correct at time of writing. For the latest, see ManUtd.com/bet.
7/25 – United to win
19/4 – Draw
31/4 – Galatasaray to win
29/10 – United to win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1
23/2 – United to win 4-0
3/1 – van Persie to score first
16/1 – van Persie hat-trick
Memories of 1993/94 – and of last season’s group-stage failure – will abound as United kick off the latest bid to win a fourth European Cup.
The experience of facing Galatasaray for the first time 19 years ago is unlikely to be forgotten by the Reds‘ personnel, especially the ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners that greeted (in the loosest sense of the word) Sir Alex’s newly-crowned Premier League champions in Istanbul.
United exited the competition that night in 1993, after a 0-0 stalemate in the cauldron of the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, but it was the three away goals conceded at OT that did the damage. The Reds will be highly motivated to avoid a repeat of that outcome, especially with another 3-3 home draw – against Basel – still painfully fresh from 2011/12.
A look at the match odds with bwin suggests United will start the 2012/13 campaign with a victory . The Reds are 7/25 to claim three points on Wednesday night, with the draw at 19/4 and Galatasaray priced up at 31/4. But while United should be confident, Gala are in fine form.
Fatih Terim’s side travel to Old Trafford as Turkish Champions and are unbeaten so far this term, topping the Super Lig after three wins from four and scoring 12 goals in the process. They may be able to give United some trouble and if you think Gala can find the net, then the odds of 29/10 that the Reds win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 look tempting.
For the more confident, when Galatasaray last visited OT – in 1994/95 – they were soundly beaten 4-0, and you can get 23/2 on that happening again.
Robin van Persie makes his European bow for United and is 3/1 to score first, while you can get 16/1 on the Dutchman scoring a hat-trick and emulating Wayne Rooney, who famously marked his first Champions League appearance for the club with three goals against another Turkish side, Fenerbahce.