IT could be one in and one out for English clubs as Man Utd and Stoke bid to join Man City in the last 16.

Man United should ease past Ajax after winning 2-0 in Holland but it looks mission impossible for Stoke who were outclassed as they crashed 1-0 at home to Valencia.

City are now 11-4 favourites with William Hill to win the Europa League ahead of 4-1 United and it was clear Roberto Mancini’s men are taking the tournament seriously by the manner of their 4-0 trouncing of Porto last night.

William Hill go 9-1 the Manchester rivals meet in the Final of the competition and it’s possible if they are kept apart from the quarter-finals.

United are just 4-11 with the likes of William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes to increase their advantage over Ajax and I’m backing them to do so in front of a demanding Old Trafford faithful even though Sir Alex Ferguson will rest some players.

Wayne Rooney is sick and there’s little chance of seeing veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. But their absence will give the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez a chance to shine.

The Bulgarian is 5-1 at boylesports to break the deadlock and 5-4 with BetVictor to net at any time.

United have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight European home matches and both teams to score is 6-5 at Paddy Power.

Valencia are just 1-16 at Skybet to qualify for the next stage following their 1-0 win at the Brittania and are 4-9 (various) to win again.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis is concentrating on Sunday’s league game with Swansea and has named a much-weakened squad with the likes of Shawcross, Etherington Walters and Crouch left at home.

Even though the classy Spaniards don’t need to win I reckon they will add to their lead in the Mestalla and consider them at HT/FT at 11-10 with Ladbrokes and Blue Square

Look at top scorer Roberto Soldada at 4-1 with BetVictor to notch the opener.

Elsewhere I’m on Athletic Bilbao to overturn a 2-1 deficit at home to Lokomotiv Moscow. The on-form Spanish outfit are 4-9 (various).

Atletico Madrid won easily away to troubled Lazio and while a boring draw would put them through I reckon they’ll increase their advantage. The Spanish stars are 8-13 with Ladbrokes and Betfred and star striker Fernando Llorente is 10-3 at Skybet and William Hill to break the deadlock.

Sporting Lisbon are stronger at home than away so should complete a win against Legia Warsaw after drawing in Poland. They are 1-2 with William Hill and others as they bid to book a meeting with Man City.

Likewise Schalke should take care of Plzen at home after a draw in the Czech Republic. Best price is 3-10 at William Hill and look at Jan Huntelaar to score first at 5-2 (various).

A tie that’s finely balanced is PAOK v Udinese. I’m not sure how much the Italians want this as they chase a Champions League spot at home so take the Greeks, who drew 0-0 in Italy, to battle through in front of their noisy home fans. PAOK are 7-4 at Betfred.


Berbatov to score

(5-4, BetVictor)

Valencia/Valencia HT/FT

(11-10, Ladbrokes, Blue Square)


(7-4, Betfred)

Huntelaar/Llorente anytime scorer double

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