21 February 2020
Club Brugge take on Manchester United at the Jan Breydel Stadion in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) Round-of-32 tie.
The hosts have finished third in their UEFA Champions League group for the second year running, failing to pick up a single win in six European fixtures so far this season (D3, L3). They are now set for their fifth EL last-32 appearance, having successfully negotiated their way to the next stage only once in the last four attempts. Also, ‘Blauw-Zwart’ have lost to Premier League opposition in eight of their previous ten such showdowns (D2), losing three of their last four home matches against the English visitors, too. Moreover, Philippe Clement’s men have managed just one win in their past 16 continental fixtures (D7, L8). That’s a sharp contrast to Brugge’s recent run of form (W4, D4), as they have yet to taste defeat in the new calendar year.
Meanwhile, the visitors have reached the knockout stages, having finished top of Group L (W4, D1, L1), sealing their place in the Round of 32 with two games to spare. The Red Devils have built their EL success this term on stubborn defending, keeping a clean sheet in five of six group stage matches. What’s more, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players head to Brussels on a run of four games without a loss (W3, D1), with each yielding a clean sheet. However, goals have been in short supply for understrength United side. They’ve scored one goal or less in four Group L games, drawing a blank in the second in all three of their continental trips so far this season. But, the Premier League heavyweights have won all three of their previous EL last-32 ties and have suffered just one defeat in their last eight EL away matches (W4, D3).
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