FC Astana

FC Astana vs Manchester United

, KO: 15:50 Nov 28, 2019, Astana Arena
Manchester United

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER was part of the Manchester United squad that proved Alan Hansen wrong when the pundit insisted you couldn't win anything with kids.

Now he's hoping his own faith in youth is rewarded when a squad packed with teenagers heads to Kazakhstan for their Europa League dead rubber with Astana.

Liverpool legend Hansen made his infamous claim after an Old Trafford side containing Fergie's Fledglings lost 3-1 at Aston Villa in their Premier League opener in season 1995/96.

He had to eat humble pie when the likes of Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes helped United do the double that season.

Within a few years that team would conquer the continent, with Solksjaer netting the winner against Bayern Munich, and it's in the European arena that the Norwegian has now turned back to youth.

He has named 14-teenagers in the 18-man squad heading to Astana and 10 of those players have yet to feature in a first-team game.

The only experience comes from back-up goalie Lee Grant, 36, Jesse Lingard, 26, and Luke Shaw, 24, so it will be some achievement if United manage to win.

All that's up for grabs is top spot in Group L, with the Premier League side two points ahead of AZ Alkmaar with two games remaining.

Astana have nothing to play for but I'd expect them to go close to full strength as they bid to claim a famous scalp and give their fans something to cheer from a dismal group campaign.

They haven't even collected a point so far and were totally outclassed by Alkmaar, who won 6-o in the Netherlands then romped to a 5-0 win in Kazakhstan.

Even Kazakh side Irtysh managed to win 2-0 at the Astana Arena at the weekend so that's why the bookies were offering a price of 12/1 on an Astana win before Solskjaer announced he would be fielding the youth team.

A home win is now a best 12/5 with Bet365 and that still looks decent value, given Astana were far from outclassed at Old Trafford, with only a Mason Greenwood goal separating the sides.

I originally tipped Astana in the double chance market at 111/50 with Marathonbet but they are now odds-on, at a best 4/5 with the same firm. That's still safer than a home win given Astana's poor form but the long trip and United's hugely inexperienced side should give the Kazakhs the edge.

I can see there being a few goals in this one, with both defences looking far from convincing. Both teams to score is 9/13 with SportNation while over 3.5 goals is 2/1 with Bet365.

Youngster Greenwood should start up front after netting at the weekend and looks good value at 2/1 with Betway for another goal against Astana.

With the bookies originally writing off the Kazakhs, all of their players were available at great odds in the same market. Romanian forward Dorin Rotariu caught my eye at 5/1 with Betfred to net at any time but has now dropped to 4/1.

Kazakh target man Sergei Khizhnichenko was also 5/1 with the same firm but his odds have been cut a bit more and is now a best 16/5 with SportNation.

 

This match between FC Astana and Manchester United will be played on Nov 28, 2019 and kick off at 15:50

FC Astana vs Manchester United Betting Tips & Predictions
Astana to win
12/5
Bet365
Mason Greenwood anytime scorer
2/1
Betway
Dorin Rotariu anytime scorer
4/1
Betfred

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