Man Utd are up to fifth in the league, just three points shy of Chelsea with a better goal difference, and on first impressions new recruit Bruno Fernandes appears just what the doctor ordered.
He only got nine minutes in Brugge in the first leg, but in United’s last two league games he’s demonstrated what he has to offer with an assist against Chelsea, as well as a goal and an assist facing Watford at the weekend.
He already appears a leader for his new side on the pitch and an antidote to their lack of creativity that has often seen them struggle to break teams down.
Manchester United To Win To Nil
On the evidence of the first leg, United will need that newfound ability to pick their opponents apart. However, whereas on the road they’ve drawn with AZ Alkmaar and Club Brugge, beaten Partizan Belgrade 1-0 and lost 2-1 to Astana when fielding the kids, back at Old Trafford they’ve beaten the Dutch, Serbian and Kazakhstani teams by a combined 8-0 scoreline.
That leaves Man Utd with five clean sheets from seven games in Europe this season, and having repelled their opponents’ attack in four of their last five at Old Trafford in recent weeks, the win to nil appeals.
In fact, 16 of the Red Devil’s past 20 victories in Europe have seen them shut out the other side, including nine of 10 at Old Trafford.
We wouldn’t expect Man Utd to run away with proceedings though, even if Club Brugge have lost 13 of 17 winless matches against the top sides they’ve faced in Europe since 2015/16 (Man Utd three times, as well as Atletico, Dortmund, Leicester, Napoli, Porto, PSG and Real Madrid twice each).
The four stalemates came from the past seven of these, including an impressive 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu this term, while only three of the last 12 have seen them downed by more than one strike.
Brugge have had tight games of late as they’re yet to win by more than a single strike from 10 fixtures in 2020 to date (W5-D5).
Only one of their last 12 on the road has been settled by more than a single goal, when beating Anderlecht 2-0, though they kept just three clean sheets across those trips and given all but two of these games came against domestic opposition, it’s difficult to see them thwarting United at ‘The Theatre of Dreams’.
Anthony Martial To Score Anytime
With Marcus Rashford sidelined, Anthony Martial has needed to step up to the plate and has found a clinical streak with goals in United’s last three games.
His strike in the first leg leaves him with one every 92 minutes in this competition, and off the back of that audacious strike against Watford in his last outing, we fancy him to continue his run.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 08:30 26/02/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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