How Are They Doing In Their League?
Club Brugge are a truly remarkable team in Belgium’s Jupiler League this season. They may not be the current champions of Belgium, but this season they are getting closer to actually wining that trophy. The reason is simple – after 26 matches, they sit atop of their league with a nine-point lead. Sure, there is still a lot to play for, but Brugge are doing really well.
So well that they have lost only one game in the league and with 18 wins and seven draws are on course for winning the title ahead of current champions Genk. In fact, they also drew three out of their last five league matches. That lead was even bigger before.
How Did They Get To This Stage?
Club Brugge played eight matches in European competitions this season. They started the European campaign in third round of Champions League qualifiers, where they managed to get past Austrian side LASK with two wins. That got them in the group with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Galatasaray. In those six matches, they never won once, but the 2-2 draw against Real Madrid when they had a 2-0 lead proved to be decisive, as that was the point that made all the difference between them and the Turkish club.
They did not even score against PSG (0-5 and 0-1), whilst they got two draws against Galatasaray (0-0 and 1-1). That was enough for them to finish third in their group. Funnily enough, in their last two Champions League seasons, they had one win in 12 matches, but in both seasons they ended up continuing their campaign in Europa League.
Who Are Their Main Players?
Club Brugge have an interesting mixture of Belgian players and African foreigners. Nigerians Okereke and Dennis are both in top four goalscorers for Brugge this season, whilst Hans Vanaken has netted 12 goals on his own. Their goalkeeper is Simon Mignolet, which could be useful information for Man United fans and Michael Krmencik is also an intriguing signing this winter.
Manager Philippe Clement has been in charge since the start of the season and has already led his team in 43 matches in all competitions. His preffered formation used to be a 4-3-3, but recently, he has been changing between a 3-5-2, 4-3-3 and even 4-1-4-1.
However, it should be noted that Manchester United will be clear favourites in this matchup. There are two games to be played, the second one at Old Trafford and there will be no reason whatsoever to believe Man United should not be easily getting past Brugge.
But that does not mean Man United should believe this will be a piece of cake. Real Madrid thought that and underestimated them and in the end, Real were lucky not to lose that match. That is why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be prepared for a battle against a physically strong side that has the qualities to hurt teams on the break.
The match is played on Thursday at 17.55 BST, with the return game scheduled for the next Thursday 27 February at 20.00 BST.