Manchester United are finally back in action on the European stage following a long break. Tipped as one of the UEFA Europa League candidates following a strong group stage run, The Red Devils will try to take a giant step towards reaching the Round of 16 when they play against Club Brugge. The first leg of this tie will be played at Jan Breydel Stadion in Brugge, Belgium. Kick-off for this match has been slated at 17:55 GMT.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe continue to rehab from their respective injuries. Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are sidelined and have to wait a few more weeks before they can return to action. Rashford and McTominay have been two of Manchester United’s best players this season. Lee Grant has also been ruled out.
On the other hand, Brugge are at full strength. They have absolutely no injuries to report ahead of this matchup.
Manchester United are coming off a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Chelsea in the English Premier League the last time out. If we include all competitions into the mix, then Solskjaer’s men currently boast a W3, D1, L1 and have not lost any of their last four games. Plus, they had a good run of results during the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League group stage. The Red Devils topped Group L with 13 points thanks to a W4, D1, L1.
On the other hand, Brugge enter this tie as one of the third-placed teams from the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League group stage. The Belgian Jupiler Pro League giants ended third in Group A, behind PSG and Real Madrid but ahead of Galatasaray. Brugge posted a W0, D3, L3 mark in the group stage, something widely expected given the opponents they were facing. Meanwhile, they sit at the top of the league standings with 61 points after 26 matches (W18, D7, L1). They also own a W2, D3 mark in their last five contests.
What is our record against Club Brugge?
United have faced Club Brugge twice in the past, and both matches came during the qualifying rounds of the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League. The Red Devils won both games, securing a 3-1 win at Old Trafford and a 4-0 victory on Belgian soil.
Manchester United are not coming into this game in a very good run of form, but the 2-0 win over Chelsea will certainly be a morale booster for them. Expect The Red Devils to try and establish a good differential in the first leg and, at least on paper, they could have a slim advantage due to the quality of their squad compared to Brugge in an individual basis. As things stand now, this game should be quite tight but Manchester United are favourites on paper.