Louis van Gaal’s men have to overcome Belgian outfit Club Brugge to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
United missed out on Europe for the first time in 19 years after a disappointing seventh-placed finish in the 2013-14 Premier League season.
However, manager Louis van Gaal delivered a return to Europe’s top competition during his debut season in charge at Old Trafford, but they must negotiate a tricky tie against the Belgian Pro League side to reach the group stages.
Here is the team news for the two sides-
Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini is suspended from domestic football after his red card at the end of last season but is eligible to play in European competition and the Belgium midfielder is expected to be involved at some point against Club Brugge. Phil Jones remains out with thrombosis and Jonny Evans is a doubt after missing training on Tuesday, but Louis van Gaal will be grateful that he has so few problems to deal with compared to his counterpart, Michel Preud’homme – the away side could be missing eight or nine players due to injury.
Predicted Manchester United starting XI:
Manchester United are likely to start with the same team that faced Aston Villa in Premier League on Friday. Rooney will feature as a striker with Januzaj behind him as the number 10 and Depay and Mata will feature on the wings.
Carrick and Schneiderlin will be the midfield duo with a back four of Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Luke Shaw and Sergio Romero under the bar keeping De Gea out of action.
Predicted Club Brugge starting XI:
With eight injuries to key players like Rafaelov, Gedoz, Coopman, Denswil, Brugge manager Michel Preud’homme will have a hard time to select his best eleven for the match.
Tom De Sutter will lead the attack with vice-captain Victor Vazquez and Abdoulay Diaby as wide forwards. Captain Timmy Simons, Hnas Vanaken and Rudd Vormer will make the midfield trio.
The back four will be De Fauw, Mechele, Oscar Duarte and De Bock with new signing Sébastien Bruzzese under the bar.
Manchester United did not look comfortable in Premier League so far but won both of their first two matches. But the quality of the squad should win them the big encounter. A 2-0 win for Red Devils is our prediction.
The odds are favourable to Louis van Gaal’s side.
Manchester United win @1.40
Club Brugge win @9.00