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Manchester clubs lead Europa League betting

Both Manchester United and Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage on Wednesday night and now face the prospect of playing Thursday night football in the Europa League instead.

It will be of little consolation to Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini – United’s and City’s respective managers – that their clubs now lead the betting market for Europe’s secondary club competition.

City, despite beating Bayern Munich 2-0 on Wednesday, could only finish third in their group during their first Champions League campaign.

Third-place finishers drop into the less prestigious Europa League and City have now been installed as the bookies’ favourite to win. Most bookmakers are backing them at 5/1, with Victor Chandler offering a best price of 11/2.

Manchester United, who lost 2-1 to Basle in Switzerland and failed to qualify from the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2005/6 season, have also dropped into the Europa League.

They are now backed as second favourites to claim a competition their left-back, Patrice Evra, has claimed is an “embarrassment” for the club to be in.

United are widely priced at 7/1 to win with Coral the current market leader, offering 15/2.

Several bookmakers are offering bets on there being an all-Manchester final. Both SkyBet and Paddy Power price this outcome at 12/1, while Victor Chandler are offering 20/1 on both Manchester clubs participating in the final in Bucharest on 9 May.

Jack Watkins
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