Manchester United v Middlesbrough betting tips: Rangnick on the hunt for silverware
Preview and odds for Friday night’s FA Cup clash
With the Premier League out of their grasp, Ralf Rangnick’s most realistic way of delivering some silverware to the Old Trafford trophy cabinet is via a successful cup run and we have all of the FA Cup action previewed as we pick out some Manchester United v Middlesbrough betting tips.
The Championship visitors will be relishing the chance to test themselves against Premier League opposition as they continue to seek a return to the top flight from the second tier and they currently occupy a play-off spot following some fine results since Chris Wilder’s arrival in the north east.
Friday night’s match at Old Trafford kicks off at 8pm and is live on ITV1.
Will Rangnick rotate?
Manchester United were beginning to hit a little bit of form before the winter break, with seven points from an available nine since the defeat at home to Wolves a fair return for their work.
That tally would have read even better if not surrendering a 2-0 lead away to Aston Villa, but Rangnick will be delighted by the tenacity shown to claim all three points in the fixtures with Brentford and West Ham.
The German gaffer resisted the urge to delve into the transfer market in January, but the off-field issues surrounding Mason Greenwood meant that he chose to block Jesse Lingard’s attempts to join Anthony Martial and Donny Van De Beek on the road out of Manchester.
United fielded a fairly strong side in the third-round clash with Villa and despite lesser opposition this time around, plenty of Rangnick’s first teamers can expect to be called on for duty as he looks to return some silverware to Old Trafford. This competition and the Champions League look United’s only chance to pick up a trophy and this appears the more winnable option.
Scott McTominay scored the only goal of the game against Villa, but it may be some of their more traditional goalscorers that grab the headlines on Friday night.
That brings Marcus Rashford into calculations and having notched the winner against West Ham last time, it is 11/2 for him to score again in a Manchester United victory, with both teams scoring.
Middlesbrough have lost just twice since Wilder took over on Teesside in November and Boro have risen from mid-table mediocracy to promotion contenders having won seven of their last nine in the Championship.
Wilder has found the knack of winning games that perhaps Neil Warnock’s Boro would have drawn or lost and the north-east club will be looking to make a welcome return to the Premier League (most likely via the play-offs) for the first time since 2016-17 and end their five-season stay in the second tier.
They looked in control of their third-round tie with League Two’s Mansfield when heading in at the break 2-0 up, but had to withstand a spirited fightback from the hosts that saw them equalise on 85 minutes, before Boro progressed thanks to an own goal deep into stoppage time.
Andraz Spoar returned to the scoresheet when grabbing the only goal of the game in their 1-0 win over Coventry last time and he is the visitors’ leading goalscorer this term with seven, while a brace against Reading earlier this month took Matt Crooks to six for the season.
They look most likely to cause the United defence problems and it is 19/10 for the 27-year-old Slovenian to have three or more shots in Manchester United v Middlesbrough betting tips.
Crooks is 7/1 for the same, while loanee Aaron Connolly is still looking for his first Boro goal and it is 5/1 for the Republic of Ireland international to have three or more shots in a game featuring over 3.5 goals.
Another winning goal from our Slovenian Striker against Coventry City.⚽
— Middlesbrough StatZone (@MiddlesbroughSZ) January 31, 2022
This is the first time these two will meet since Middlesbrough’s last spell in the top flight in 2016-17 and it was United who claimed the bragging rights winning both home and away.
They were 3-1 winners at the Riverside while recording a 2-1 victory on home soil and a repeat of those scorelines are 11/1 and 15/2 respectively. Interestingly both teams to score landed on both occasions then and the same to happen again with a victory for the Red Devils is 23/10 in Manchester United v Middlesbrough betting tips.
The pair last met in the FA Cup in 2007 when Boro held United to a 2-2 draw at the Riverside, before losing the replay 1-0. There will be no replay this time around, but a draw in 90 minutes can be backed at 19/5.
Although winning here on penalties in the 2015-16 League Cup, Boro haven’t won in 90 minutes at Old Trafford since a 3-2 victory in 2004. A repeat of that is an unlikely 90/1, but a game involving over 4.5 total goals can’t be ruled out at 17/4.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) January 26, 2022
Manchester United’s last three home games have finished with a 1-0 scoreline and that includes the third-round victory over Aston Villa.
Middlesbrough also lost their last away fixture 1-0 and the same result in favour of the Red Devils is 11/2, while a win to nil for the hosts is 21/20 in Manchester United v Middlesbrough betting tips.
Six of the last eight games played in all competitions at Old Trafford have seen fewer than three goals in the game and under 2.5 is evens, while United to win can be added to make a 21/10 build-a-bet coupon.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication