UEFA Europa League continues on Thursday. 36 teams are still fighting for the trophy as 26 teams qualified to the knockout rounds through group stage and another 10 teams came from Champions League group stages. Every team that finished 3rd in their Champions League group, qualified to the round of 36 in Europa League. Very interesting matchup takes place in Belgium, as home team Club Brügge hosts the English giant Manchester United.
Club Brügge v Manchester United – Road to round of 36
Club Brügge finished 2nd in the Belgium League last season and got their spot in Champions League qualifiers. The Belgian side made their way to group stages but finished 3rd in very strong group, where Real Madrid and PSG took the first two places. Club Brügge got 3 points out possible 18 and left Galatasaray 1 point behind in the group. Club Brügge scored 4 goals in 6 group stage matches, while giving away 12. 22-year-old Emmanuel Dennis lead the team with 2 goals.
Manchester United finished 6th in the English Premier League last season and got a spot in Europa League group stages. Manchester United got into same group with AZ Alkmaar, FC Astana and Partizan Belgrade. Manchester United won their group with 13 points. They scored 10 goals in 6 games, while allowing only 2. 18-year-old Mason Greenwood amazed everyone in group stages by scoring 4 goals.
Club Brügge v Manchester United – Form in past 5 games
Home team Club Brügge has played one Belgian Cup game and four league games within last 5 games. They won their cup match, and won two out of 4 league matches. The two other matches ended in a draw. During these five games Club Brügge has scored 5 goals and given away 2. Midfielder Mats Rits scored most goals for them as he found the net twice against Waasland-Beveren in league game.
Manchester United has played two cup matches and three league matches within last 5 games. They beat Tranmere 0-6 in FA Cup and won second leg of League Cup against their rival Manchester City. Despite the win in the second leg, Manchester United got eliminated due to aggregate score. In the Premier League Manchester United won once, lost once and had one draw. During these five games Manchester United has scored 9 times and allowed 2 goals, both in a loss against Burnley. Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial both have 2 goals in 5 games.
Club Brügge v Manchester United – What to bet?
Club Brügge has been top team of Belgian league for ages and there isn’t that much competition for top places. This season Club Brügge is leading the Belgian league by a mile and are one of the biggest favorites to win the league. Hans Vanaken has 12 and David Okereke has 9 goals in the Belgian league. Both players started last game on Saturday from the bench, most likely to give them a rest before this big match against Manchester United. Club Brügge is a dangerous team when they get more possession and get to create more chances.
Manchester United has had a season similar to roller coaster ride. Their form has been going up and down the whole season and have dropped points against teams that they should easily beat. In a league like Premier League, those dropped points can easily cost a lot and that has been the case this season. Manchester United has basically no chance to win the league title, so their focus is now on finishing top four in the league, go deep in Europa League and in the FA Cup.
After adding Portugal international Bruno Fernandes in to the lineup Manchester United has played better. 0-2 away win against Chelsea was huge boost in fight for top 4 in the league and that should also give them some self-esteem coming into this match. Club Brügge doesn’t have injuries. Manchester United will be missing Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. Tim Fosu-Mensah, Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe are possibly out too. Eric Bailly returned from the injury in a game against Chelsea and could be a big difference maker.
Manchester United surely wants to score in the first leg and get very vital away goal to help them in the second leg at Old Trafford. This match could be really low scoring, but I’m counting on Manchester United here. Away goals are important in two leg games and United has a lot to prove. United also has better material even with the injuries. Manchester United is my pick here.
Club Brügge v Manchester United – The pick
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