Manchester United Wary Of Unwanted Record Ahead Of Last Champions League Group Home Game
Manchester United welcome Young Boys to Old Trafford tonight hoping to bag a win for the first time in three games. A pick-me-up for fans is much needed after a demoralising humbling at league leaders Manchester City and a bore-draw at home to Crystal Palace in the most recent league gameweek.
The last home game of the Champions League group stage now only sees the Red Devils trying to get firmly in the driving seat to reach the knockout rounds of the competition, to capitalise on an exceptional shock win at the Allianz against Serie A champions Juventus.
A win against the Swiss side, with the expectation for Juve to bounce back from suffering only their second loss in 36 group stage games with a victory over Valencia, will put United on 10 points in Group H, five clear of Los Che and progress.
Those traipsing to The Theatre of Dreams this evening however are gagging for a convincing home performance. If United don’t score tonight, this would be the first time in the Champions League group stage they would have failed to thrill the Old Trafford crowd with even a single goal.
They need to score at least a brace to avoid the worst goals tally they’ve recorded at the same stage at home, which happened in 10/11, although with this stat comes a silver lining; it was the same season they reached their third UCL final in four years.
Furthermore, a flustering of goals in the initial stages of the tournament hasn’t always lead to further success. Back in 2003/04 season, United scored a massive 10 goals without reply but exited the competition at the first round to a Jose Mourinho-led Porto.
A loss tonight would mark the first time in the history of United’s participation in the reconfigured format that they’ve suffered two defeats at home.
They’ve won just three of their nine games at Old Trafford this season, 33.3%, far and away the worst record of the top six. In comparison, examining their fiercest rivals, Manchester City steam ahead by currently having a 90% record in all competitions, with Liverpool (77.8%) and Chelsea (70%).
In regards to entertainment factor, the figures produce even more woeful reading. United have scored just 10 goals in their nine Old Trafford games so far, or 1.1 per match, and conceded 11 for a goal difference of -1 through a measly two clean sheets (both coming in bore draws).
City, on-the-other-hand, have registered a gargantuan haul of 37 (3.7pg) for those in attendance at the Etihad, having just six scored past them. Spurs have played two games less at their temporary home stadium of Wembley but have gained a win and two goals more.
United are still heavily favoured by the bookies tonight to beat Young Boys, currently odds on at around 2/7 but more than that, the 75,000 expectant fans in attendance almost certainly - finally - deserve a home performance worthy of the 13-time Premier League champions, thrice European Cup winners’ brobdingnagian stature.