28 February 2020
Manchester United and Club Brugge go head-to-head at Old Trafford in the return leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) last-32 tie, with both sides having everything to play for following a 1-1 draw in Belgium last week.
The hosts have overseen an upturn in results recently, as they go into this showdown on a run of six consecutive games without a loss (W4, D2). Four of their last six competitive fixtures have featured under 2.5 goals, and that’s mainly thanks to United’s strong defending. Indeed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have kept five clean sheets during that six-game sequence, while scoring over 1.5 goals in three of four victories in that stretch. In turn, the Red Devils have yet to concede a goal at home in Europe this season, with two of their three EL home triumphs so far yielding at least a three-goal margin. Particularly dangerous in the second half, the Premier League giants have netted six of their eight EL home goals after the break (75%).
Meanwhile, the visitors have joined the EL knockout stages after failing to pick up a single win in their UEFA Champions League section (D3, L3). Although each of their three European away games this campaign saw the opening goal come inside the first 25 minutes of play, two of those matches featured under 2.5 goals in the end. Even though they are given slight chances to advance to the round of 16, the ‘Blauw-Zwart’ head to England on a run of 14 games without a loss in all competitions (W8, D6). But, Brugge’s disastrous form against the English clubs could be throwing a spanner in the works, considering they’ve lost eight of their previous 11 such fixtures, drawing the other three.
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