MANCHESTER UNITED v CLUB BRUGGE CL PREVIEW


Match info: 
Tuesday's clash is live on BT Sport in the UK. The game starts at 19:45 BST and you can also follow it in our live match blog, or via @ManUtd on Twitter.

Scene-setter:
 Having made it two wins from two in 2015/16 with victory over Aston Villa on Friday night, attention turns back to Manchester for the highly-anticipated return of the Champions League to Old Trafford. The play-off first-leg match marks the first-ever meeting between the sides, with a place in the group stage on the line.

Form guide: 
The Reds not only boast maximum points from the opening Barclays Premier League games, but also back-to-back clean sheets. Adnan Januzaj's strike was enough to separate the sides at Villa Park and, with the all-important away goals rule coming back into play against Brugge, all eyes will be on the defences. The visitors sit third in their domestic league after a steady start to the season, and impressively saw off Panathinaikos earlier this month to set up this crucial clash.

Team news:
 Marouane Fellaini is eligible to feature for the Reds as the suspension he is currently serving, for his red card at Hull City last term, applies to domestic competition only, while Phil Jones remains sidelined with mild thrombosis. Having justified his call-up against Villa, Januzaj will hope to retain his place in the starting line-up. Brugge are missing a host of players through injury, but last season's top scorers in the Belgian Pro League should still carry a significant goal threat.

Quote/unquote:
"It's true that getting to the group stage is vital for everyone; since the beginning of pre-season we've been getting ready for this moment. I'm sure the atmosphere inside Old Trafford is going to be special, as it always is in the Champions League." – Juan Mata.

Opposition view: 
"My wish has come true, a boy's dream came true. I'm looking forward to it. A game on the 'holy soil', it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope that I can play at least a few minutes there, but it's not so important now. Club Brugge playing Manchester United. I still can't believe it!" – Tuur Dierckx, Brugge forward.


Star man:
 While young winger Jose Izquierdo was the club's top scorer last season with 13 league goals, Lior Refaelov was Brugge's main man in Europe. The Israeli midfielder netted six times during the club's Europa League campaign in 2014/15, including a hat-trick against FC Copenhagen in the group stages. He scored the winner in the Belgian Cup final to earn the club a first trophy in eight years, but hasn't featured regularly this season due to injury. Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has spoken about Victor Vasquez, the current Belgian Player of the Year.

Sub-plot: 
United have a strong record against Belgian opposition. In fact, the Reds have met only one Belgian side competitively – Anderlecht. Among the six games played against them was the club-record 10-0 win in September 1956, in United's first-ever European Cup tie. While Brugge represent an unfamiliar opponent, van Gaal will know what to expect, having faced them both as a player and manager.

In the dug-out:
 Michel Preud'homme is a name many football fans will know. The winner of the first Yashin Award for his performances at the 1994 World Cup, he spent much of his playing career in his native Belgium, and took over as Club Brugge coach in 2013. The former goalkeeper has sound experience of knock-out competitions, and will certainly have his side well drilled.

Referee:
The man in the middle is German official Deniz Aytekin, who will be assisted by Guido Kleve and Markus Hacker.
The fourth official at Old Trafford will be Frank Willenborg.

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