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Manchester United vs Club Brugge Europa League preview: where to watch, team news

Club Brugge travel to Old Trafford for their UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg – all you need to know.

The home dressing room ahead of United v Club Brugge
The home dressing room ahead of United v Club Brugge UEFA via Getty Images

Manchester United host Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on 27 February at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.


Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

What happened in the first leg

United started sluggishly against an enterprising Club Brugge side in Belgium, the visitors falling behind when Emmanuel Bonaventure lobbed Sergio Romero early in the first half. Anthony Martial levelled before half-time, racing through to beat Simon Mignolet one-on-one and leave the tie finely poised.

Highlights: Club Brugge 1-1 Man. United

The teams

Manchester United (ENG)
UEFA ranking: 10
Domestic position: 5
Last season: UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (lost 4-0 v Barcelona)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2016/17)

Club Brugge (BEL)
UEFA ranking: 57
Domestic position: 1
Last season: round of 32 (lost 5-2 v Salzburg)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: runners-up (1975/76)

Bonaventure Dennis celebrates after scoring the first goal of the tie
Bonaventure Dennis celebrates after scoring the first goal of the tieBELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Possible line-ups

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw; Matić, Fred; Mata, Bruno Fernandes, James; Martial
: Pogba (ankle), Rashford (back), Grant (unspecified), Tuanzebe (fitness), Fosu-Mensah (fitness)
Doubtful: Tuanzebe (fitness), Fosu-Mensah (fitness)

Club Brugge: Mignolet; Mata, Mechele, Deli; De Cuyper, Vanaken, Rits, Diatta, De Ketelaere; Tau, Krmenčík
Out: Balanta (suspended), Vormer (knee), Bonaventure (fatigue)
Doubtful: Diatta (fatigue)
Booking away from ban: Openda

Expert predictions

Matthew Howarth, Man. United reporter: Anthony Martial’s away goal, fortunate though it was, leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team in the driving seat going into the return leg. United have kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League and another on Thursday would guarantee their place in the round of 16, but Brugge caused the Red Devils enough problems in Belgium last week to suggest they can defy the odds at Old Trafford.

Dante Bellon, Club Brugge reporter: The absence of captain Ruud Vormer and first-leg scorer Bonaventure is a huge blow for Philippe Clement. It likely means a change of formation – to 3-5-2, 5-3-2 in transition – and another start for young Maxim De Cuyper. There is some good news, too, as Krépin Diatta has returned to fitness and should line up behind Krmenčík. The Czech hasn't had many opportunities since he arrived in January but what a chance this is!

Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet returns to England
Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet returns to EnglandGetty Images

What the coaches say

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United manager: "You need many attributes to play the perfect game or be the perfect team. We want the swagger, the confidence, to believe in ourselves, but you still want your players to be humble."

Philippe Clement, Club Brugge coach: "I want my players to show courage and guts in Manchester. It's important for the guys to have that experience and then we will see. We still need the same luck there as for the [first leg]."

Previous meetings

• The clubs met in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs, United cantering through 7-1 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring a hat-trick as they won the second leg 4-0 in Bruges after two goals from new signing Memphis Depay had helped them to a come-from-behind 3-1 win at Old Trafford.

• United boast a perfect home record in UEFA competition against Belgian opponents, four of the five wins coming against Anderlecht, including 10-0 in the first meeting, in the 1956 European Champion Clubs' Cup preliminary round – still United's record European victory – and 2-1 after extra time in the most recent, in the quarter-final of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League, thanks to Marcus Rashford's winner.

• Club Brugge are still seeking a first victory in England, 12 previous visits having yielded two draws and ten defeats, including a 1-0 loss to Liverpool at Wembley in the 1978 European Cup final. Their most recent fixture in the country was a 2-1 defeat by Leicester City in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Form guide

Manchester United
• The three-time champions of Europe finished sixth in the 2018/19 Premier League, which meant direct access to the UEFA Europa League. They were quarter-finalists in last season's UEFA Champions League, going out to Barcelona after a remarkable round of 16 second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain (0-2 h, 3-1 a).

• United kept clean sheets in their first four UEFA Europa League group fixtures this term, securing qualification with two games to spare after doing the double over Partizan (1-0 a, 3-0 h). Although an understrength side lost 2-1 at Astana, ending the club's 15-match unbeaten run in the competition, they signed off in style with the 4-0 home win against AZ that secured top spot in Group L – the club's joint biggest victory in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.

2017 final highlights: Manchester United 2-0 Ajax

• The Manchester giants have appeared in three previous UEFA Europa League knockout phases and have been victorious in the round of 32 on all three occasions, eliminating Ajax (2-0 a, 1-2 h) in 2011/12, Midtjylland (1-2 a, 5-1 h) in 2015/16, and Saint-Étienne (3-0 h, 1-0 a) in 2016/17, the season they went on to lift the trophy.

• The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 12 UEFA Europa League home games (W10 D2), registering three wins out of three at Old Trafford – all with clean sheets – in this season's group stage. They are, however, without a home win in their last four springtime European fixtures, losing the last three – against Sevilla (1-2), Paris and Barcelona (0-1).

• United have won 11 of the 16 UEFA competition ties in which they recorded a first-leg away draw, including that 2016/17 success against Anderlecht (1-1 in Brussels), but they lost the most recent, against Sevilla in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (0-0 in Seville). The Manchester club's record after drawing the first leg 1-1 away is W5 L1, the only elimination coming at the hands of Real Madrid in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16, when they lost the return 1-2 at Old Trafford.

Club Brugge
• Second in Belgium behind Genk in 2018/19, Club Brugge's European campaign last season ended in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 against Salzburg (2-1 h, 0-4 a) after they had finished third, behind Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid, in their UEFA Champions League group.

• This season they entered the UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round and overcame Dynamo Kyiv and LASK to reach the group stage, where the highlight was a 2-2 draw at Real Madrid, the low point a 5-0 defeat in Bruges against Paris Saint-Germain – the club's heaviest at home in UEFA competition. Crucial to their third-placed finish was an added-time equaliser away to Galatasaray that brought a 1-1 draw on Matchday 5.

Matchday 2 highlights: Real Madrid 2-2 Club Brugge

• Club Brugge are appearing in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the fifth time. They have won only one of their previous four ties at this stage, against Danish side Aalborg (3-1 a, 3-0 h) in 2014/15, when they went on to reach the quarter-finals. Their interest in the competition ended in this round in 2009/10 against Valencia (1-0 h, 0-3 a), in 2011/12 against Hannover (1-2 a, 0-1 h), and last season against Salzburg.

• The Belgian side are without an away win in six UEFA Europa League fixtures (D2 L4) since they beat Beşiktaş 3-1 in Istanbul in the 2014/15 round of 16. Their European record on the road since that win is W2 D6 L12.

• Club Brugge have lost four of the five UEFA two-legged ties in which they drew the first game at home. However, the lone success came on the one previous occasion that the first-leg scoreline was 1-1 – which they followed with a 2-0 win at Danish side Lyngby in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup first round.

UEFA Europa League squad changes

Manchester United
In: Nathan Bishop (Southend), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, loan)
Out: Marcos Rojo (Estudiantes, loan), Ashley Young (Internazionale)

Club Brugge
In: Youssouph Badji (Casa Sports), Michael Krmenčík (Viktoria Plzeň)
Out: Dion Cools (Midtjylland), Mbaye Diagne, Amadou Sagna, Jelle Vossen (Zulte Waregem)

Links and trivia 

• Club Brugge coach Philippe Clement played in the English Premier League for Coventry City in 1998/99 – the season that his counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjær won the treble with Manchester United. The Belgian did not feature against United.

• Romero, Juan Mata and Luke Shaw are the sole survivors from the United XI that beat Club Brugge 3-1 at home in 2015/16, while captain Ruud Vormer and defender Brandon Mechele are the only current Club Brugge players who started that match, Hans Vanaken appearing as a substitute.

Juan Mata in action against Club Brugge in August 2015
Juan Mata in action against Club Brugge in August 2015Manchester United via Getty Imag

• Club Brugge's Ukrainian import Eduard Sobol played for Zorya Luhansk in their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in United's first home game of their triumphant 2016/17 UEFA Europa League campaign.

• Manchester United are one of three former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's knockout phase, along with Porto and Sevilla.

• While Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League with Sunday's 3-0 home win against Watford, Club Brugge, who beat Charleroi 1-0 at home on the same day, have a nine-point lead at the top of the Belgian league table having lost just one of their 27 games.

Penalty shoot-outs

• Manchester United's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
4-5 v Videoton, 1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-final
3-4 v Torpedo Moskva, 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round
6-5 v Chelsea, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final

2008 final highlights: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 pens)

• Club Brugge's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W4 L0:
4-1 v Shakhtar Donetsk, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
4-2 v Borussia Dortmund, 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
4-3 v Vålerenga, 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
4-3 v Lech Poznań, 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-off

The coaches

• A former Old Trafford favourite, whose legendary status at the club was confirmed with his added-time winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern München, Solskjær returned to Manchester United as interim manager in December 2018, replacing José Mourinho, before securing the position on a permanent basis the following March. A former Norwegian international striker renowned for his predatory goalscoring, he won six Premier League titles as a United player and established his reputation as a coach in his homeland with Molde.

• A former Belgian international who represented his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 and won 38 caps, Clement was a defensive midfielder and centre-back who spent most of his playing career with Club Brugge, completing a decade at the club following a short spell in England with Coventry. He had made his Belgian top-flight debut with Genk, and returned there in December 2017 to become head coach following a six-month stint at Waasland-Beveren. After leading Genk to the league title in 2018/19, he replaced Ivan Leko at Club Brugge.