Manchester United face Club Brugge in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Second Round tie just three days after they won 2-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side certainly drew the short straw when it came to domestic scheduling as they finish the week with a third game inside seven days by hosting Watford in the league on Saturday.
Belgian opponents Club Brugge dropped out of the Champions League by finishing third in their group – behind winners Paris Saint-Germain and runners-up Real Madrid. They drew both games with Galatasaray and it was their 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium that saw them transfer to the Europa League.
Philippe Clement’s side needed a 96th minute winner to beat Waasland-Beveren in the Jupiler Pro League on Saturday to maintain their comfortable lead at the top.
With the hosts having two days’ extra rest and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming at his press conference that he will be rotating his side, Manchester United are as long as 6/4 to win this match with the bookmakers. Fans may be more tempted to back the Red Devils with this registration code instead of their own cash.
Rotation for Manchester United means that Odion Ighalo could make his first start for the club. The Nigerian striker made his debut in the final minute of Monday’s win following his January loan move. Solskjaer suggested he could start during his pre-match press conference.
Sergio Romero is expected to lineup in goal as the cup goalkeeper for Solskjaer’s side, and his opposite number should be ex-Liverpool player Simon Mignolet. The latter may give United fans more confidence in backing their side for victory, whilst others may feel there is better value to be had at Ceasers Online Casino with Romero’s inclusion.
Victor Lindelof was absent in defence on Monday and could make his return to start alongside Harry Maguire in the middle of a back four. Other players likely to be recalled to the starting lineup are Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood.
Emmanuel Bonaventure’s brace in Madrid represents 50% of Club Brugge’s goals in six European matches this season. The Nigerian striker is expected to start on Thursday too. His pace running beyond the last defender is something United’s centre-back pairing will need to be wary of.
Hans Vanaken and David Okereke are their top scorers in the league, whilst Ruud Vormer plays a key role as the anchor man in midfield.
Expect Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rotate his side heavily for the first leg and then judge what he needs after the result, ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at Old Trafford. Being three points outside of the Champions League spots in the Premier League means that Watford on Sunday will be a more crucial match than this one.