Tue, Aug 18th 2015
After an unthinkable season without Champions League football for Manchester United, we now have one foot in the competition “proper” but must first navigate this two-legged tie against Belgian side Club Brugge.
As ties go, this could have been worse and we must go into this with some optimism especially as, whatever problems we might have at the moment, Brugge appear to have the same problems three times over.
Thanks to their participation in last season’s Europa League, they ended last season completely shattered (one reason why I never believed we wanted any part of that thing during Moyes’ reign) and now have a very lengthy injury list.
Like us, they also have a bit of a goalkeeping problem (although, to be fair, Romero has looked half decent for us so far) and quite who will play in net for them for this tie is hard to say at the moment and it could well be their loan signing from Porto, Bolat, who starts tonight.
Our own problems are largely down to LvG once again buying half a team over the summer and is now attempting to get these players fitting into a system which even the existing players never quite got to grips with for the duration of last season.
We’re also looking awfully toothless up-front and whilst 1-0 is a perfectly acceptable scoreline, to have achieved this twice in our opening two games, probably illustrates just how toothless we are right now. Especially when you take into account that the goal against Tottenham was an own-goal and our goal against Villa wasn’t a great shot from Januzaj and it was a cruel deflection that caused it to beat their keeper.
Rooney has looked like a spare part for much of our opening two games and it probably speaks volumes that Hernandez, despite being loaned out to Real Madrid last season, is now our second-choice and looks likely to be the man LvG will have to turn to for goals tonight.
Right now, I’d even take Falcao back purely on the basis that he can’t possibly be any worse than last season.
I never thought I’d be saying this either but having Fellaini available who has so far been unavailable for our domestic games due to suspension is a boon.
For anyone trying to predict what will happen tonight it is near-impossible.
I think I’ll just work on the basis that a goal-fest looks unlikely. A low-scoring home win with a clean sheet might be the best we can hope for.
The Red Devil's Match Prediction
The bet is 3 points UNDER 2.5 goals @ 2.10 with Paddy Power