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MOURINHO IN, ROONEY OUT AT MANCHESTER UNITED?
Paddy Power: 6 March 2013

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The Special One broke Manchester United hearts last night but he could soon be the man charged with bringing European glory back to Old Trafford. After last night's win for Real Madrid and the obviously strong relationship between the two managers Mourinho's price to be the next permanent manager of Manchester United dropped to 3/1.

Aside from a dodgy red card there was another dubious decision in the game last night with Sir Alex leaving out Wayne Rooney from the starting line-up. Speculation is now rife on Rooney's future and Paddy Power are giving odds of 5/2 that he will leave Manchester United in the Summer 2013 transfer window. Rooney's options are expansive but the favourites to sign the England striker are mega-rich PSG at 7/4 followed by also quite well off Chelsea at 9/1. Worryingly for United fans Rooney is at short odds of 5/1 to repeat what Carlos Tevez did and hop across the city to join title rivals Manchester City!

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However it wasn't all bad news as Paddy Power not only refunded punters after Ronaldo's strike but also gave a special 'empathy' offer of a free £/€ 5 bet to supporters who had placed a bet on the game and had registered as Manchester United fans on the bookmakers team page*. The combined pay out and empathy offer is expected to cost Paddy Power up to £750,000.

English teams will be hoping to fair considerably better than Manchester United when they play 1st leg ties of the last 16 in the Europa League on Thursday. Newcastle travel to Anzhi Makhachkala and are big underdogs at odds of 4/1 to win the game. The draw comes in at 27/10 and the home side are at odds of 7/10. Anzhi are favourites to win the game by a tight margin with odds of 5/1 for a home 1-0 win, 13/2 for a home 2-0 win, and 7/1 for a home 2-1 win. Newcastle will be hoping Papiss Cisse will be firing on all cylinders and he along with strike partner Shola Ameobi are both at 8/1 to get the first goal. The favourite for first scorer in the game is Ivorian striker Lacina Traore at odds of 4/1 followed by Samuel Eto'o at 9/2.

Chelsea are also away in their first leg and are taking on Steaua Bucharest. After recent fan unrest Rafa Benitez will be hoping for a quiet but effective night and Chelsea are at odds of 10/11 to win the game with Steaua at odds of 16/5 for the win. Chelsea have short odds of 6/1 on winning the game 0-1, with odds of 15/2 on 0-2 and odds of 15/2 on a 1-2 win for the visitors. Chelsea's priority will be to score an away goal and Fernando Torres is favourite to grab the first goal at odds of 5/1 followed by Juan Mata at odds of 6/1. Given Chelsea's patchy defensive record the odds on both teams to score comes in at 4/5.

The final English side in action are Tottenham who host Inter Milan in their 1st leg tie. Spurs are the favourites for the game at 4/5 with Inter to win coming in at 7/2. Spurs are on a great run of form but their fans are used to seeing them come from behind in games and should expect no different in this game. Inter can be backed to win the first half with Tottenham winning the second at 20/1 and both teams to score comes in at 8/11. Spurs have the Brazilian principle of ‘you score one, we'll score one more' at the moment and there are odds of 5/1 that the game will have over 4.5 goals in it. The current favourite for PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale is joint favourite with Jermain Defoe at odds of 9/2 to be first scorer. On Inter Milan's side Palacio and Cassano at both at odds of 8/1 to be the first goal scorer.

Regarding Manchester United, Paddy Power said; "Jose and Sir Alex looked closer than ever last night and we can only assume that over a glass over Merlot after the game Ferguson and the Special One discussed succession plans. Moyes is still favourite to take over at Old Trafford after Ferguson finally leaves but if Mourinho doesn't fancy heading back into the lion's den at Chelsea then we reckon Manchester United could soon be his new home."


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