Manchester United vs Partizan BelgradeUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Nov 7, 2019, Old Trafford
JUST when it looked like Manchester United might be turning the corner, they delivered another inept, impotent display to pile the pressure back on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Saturday's 1-0 loss to Bournemouth ended United's three-game winning run and underlined the problems at Old Trafford are deep-rooted rather than temporary.
A lot of people expected Solskjaer's side to crumble when they faced Liverpool last month after a five-game run where their only victory had come over Rochdale on penalties in the League Cup.
But United raised their game against Jurgen Klopp's side and the deserved 1-1 draw gave them the belief to beat Partizan Belgrade, Norwich and Chelsea in their next three games.
Anthony Martial's return from injury seemed to be the key to that upturn, with the Frenchman netting twice and bringing the best back out of Marcus Rashford.
But it was also down to the paucity of opposition, with the Serbs hardly a top-class side, Norwich in the midst of a dreadful run and Chelsea fielding a second-string side for their League Cup clash.
Up against a well-drilled Bournemouth side, United lacked the imagination to break them down and duly failed to score for the fourth time in 10 games.
Their shocking lack of firepower hasn't hindered Solskjaer's side too much in Europe as they sit top of Group L after two wins and a draw.
But that's only because United have yet to concede a goal, with both their wins coming by just a single goal against Astana and Partizan.
I keep thinking Manchester United will find their shooting boots but they have only scored more than one goal in just three games all season.
Martial was fit for all three of those high-scoring victories and has a decent return of four goals in eight appearances this season. If Solskjaer starts the former Lyon hitman here then United might finally deliver some thrills, although the Old Trafford boss has generally fielded weakened sides in the Europa League.
Bet365 price Martial at 6/4 in the anytime scorer market and that looks a decent bet. Youngster Mason Greenwood is bigger at 8/5 with Paddy Power and might also be worth a flutter after netting when Astana came to Old Trafford.
The teenager has started two of the three Europa League games and Solskjaer might let him loose again in front of a home crowd.
With Manchester United in such awful goalscoring form, over 2.5 goals, is available at 6/5 with Unibet. I'm tempted to stick a few quid on that as it has come up in two of Partizan's three games in the group.
The Serbs are also out of form, losing four of their last seven matches in all competitions, and sit fourth in their domestic league. If United can't score a few goals against this mob then there really is no hope for them.
Scottish football fans raised a few eyebrows when they spotted Rangers flop Umar Sadiq leading the line for Partizan against United in their last meeting.
This time last year, the Nigerian was taking pelters for his dismal display in the League Cup semi-final loss to Aberdeen, which turned out to be the last of just five appearances for the Ibrox side.
But he has rebuilt his career pretty well in Serbia, netting nine goals from 18 appearances, and came close against United in Belgrade with a fierce long-range effort. Sadiq is 11/2 with Paddy Power to net at Old Trafford and that might be worth a punt as a long-odds option.
There was a penalty in Belgrade and I've a feeling we will see another here. Bet365 are offering 11/4 on a spot-kick being awarded and that seems a bit generous.
This UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United and Partizan Belgrade will be played on Nov 7, 2019 and kick off at 20:00