Champions League is the bread and butter of international club soccer. It’s the highest level of European club competitions, featuring only the greatest teams in the world. However, in recent years, the Europa League is inching closer as the next best thing with numerous top-tier participants and plenty of potent contestants ready to make their mark.
Betting-wise, we’re witnessing an increasing demand for Europa League matches too. With the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal frequently going strong in the second-tier European club competition, among other prominent teams, soccer betting enthusiasts were always bound to follow.
That said, we’re happy to announce our take on Manchester United vs. Club Brugge betting predictions, a fiery second-leg Europa League playoff match whose first-leg could’ve gone either way.
Man. United vs. Club Brugge News
The first-leg match played in Belgium ended as a 1-1 draw. Romero’s outside-the-box adventure gave Club Brugge the lead before Martial took advantage of a silly defensive mistake and squared it off before the halftime.
Overall, Manchester United was the better team, with more possession, shots on goal, and corners. However, I’d argue the home team had better chances in front of the goal, especially the 78th-minute attempt by Kossounou who failed to hit a clean goal from inside the box; completely unguarded!
Be that as it is, it’s too late to talk about the stuff that could’ve happened. The first leg ended up in a draw, and while that result will affect our Manchester United vs. Club Brugge betting predictions, we tend to focus more on the second-leg itself, off-pitch happenings, as well as the matches prior to Thursday evening’s spectacle… and that’s exactly what’s coming up!
Manchester United’s Injury List
Rashford, Grant, and Pogba will be out of the equation on Thursday. All three of them are injured and will not be a part of Manchester United’s squad. Additionally, Fosu-Mensah and Tuanzebe might not be available either, both due to thigh injuries.
Despite all that, Manchester United hasn’t lost a game in five, with three wins and two draws, one of them being against Club Brugge in Belgium. While I do believe the likes of Pogba and Rashford will definitely be missed on Thursday, I still believe Manchester United has more than enough quality to swing past Club Brugge. Of course, I’m not giving away any concrete tips just yet. For that, you’ll have to stick till the end of this Manchester United vs. Club Brugge betting predictions piece!
As far as motivation goes, Manchester United needs to make a proper statement in Europa League this season. They need to win the competition, to be more precise. As time goes on, United’s chances of qualifying for the next season of Champions League are becoming lower and lower, meaning Europa League title might be the only way to reach CL football and potentially score a few top-rated players in the summer.
The Belgians Need a Miracle
Club Brugge players are well aware of missed opportunities in the first leg. Realistically speaking, even though the stats were on United’s site, Club Brugge was far more dangerous. They had several outstanding opportunities but failed to capitalize on United’s lackluster defending.
Club Brugge won against Charleroi on Sunday, which will put some wind in their sails… but that won’t be enough to lead them against Solskjaer’s men away from home. On a brighter note, Brugge’s away record in European competitions this season is pretty good. For instance, they drew against Real Madrid in October, and Galatasaray in late November. Unfortunately, they might not repeat the same on Thursday since the win against Charleroi on Sunday came at a massive cost…
You see, Club Brugge will be without their best player on Thursday. Yep, Dennis is out the equation for the Old Trafford clash, meaning Club Brugge’s attacking lineup will have a massive dent. A quick reminder – Dennis was a real menace in the first leg, not just scoring the goal but showcasing a plethora of chances thanks to his speed, agility, and attacking vision. Club Brugge will definitely miss him and will be in dire need for a real miracle at the Theatre of Dreams.
Man. United vs. Club Brugge Preview
No worries, our Manchester United vs. Club Brugge betting predictions are just around the corner. There’s just one more thing we need to examine before turning our attention to the important stuff! As the title implies, we’re referring to the match preview.
Obviously, neither of the two teams will be looking to get a head start very early on. I doubt Romero will be encouraged to go for more adventures, meaning we probably won’t see another early goal. We can expect a lot of defensive-minded plays, backpasses, and passive gameplay during the first half an hour or so. Heck, perhaps even during the whole first half.
In case of a goalless first half, Manchester United probably won’t go all in because they scored an away goal. If, however, Club Brugge makes an upset and scores a goal, United will need two to go through without overtime. In that case, I reckon Ighalo will have an imperative of scoring at least one goal to justify the transfer.
Manchester United vs. Club Brugge Betting Predictions
Finally, we’ve reached the fun part – the actual Manchester United vs. Club Brugge betting predictions. As some of you probably figured out already, considering all circumstances, the English side should come out victorious and go through to the next playoffs stage. However, it probably won’t be as straightforward as most people think…
The simplest bet here would be Manchester United to win at -210. Ole’s men should cruise to victory on home soil despite the fact some of their starters are out due to injuries. They still have a strong starting base, packing a ton of attacking talent craving for goals.
I know for a fact some of you will want to bet on Manchester United to go through, but at -500, it just makes no sense, especially considering the fact the only result other than a win that allows United to go through is a goalless draw. So, if you believe the stats as well as the most recent happenings surrounding both sides, you’ll place the following wager:
Manchester United to Win at -210
Other Interesting Europa League Betting Predictions
Let’s take a quick look at two additional EL playoffs matches which could pose as interesting contests for soccer betting enthusiasts:
Ajax vs. Getafe Betting Predictions
Ajax lost the away leg 2-0, suffering yet another European blow this season, after having a remarkable run last time out. Worst of all, they conceded the second goal right before the final whistle, which just put more salt into their wounds.
As for the actual bet, I’d go with a risky +375 on Ajax to go through. Even though Ajax needs to win by three or more goals (or 2-0 for overtime and potentially penalties), I believe Ten Hag’s men will exploit their home grounds’ advantage. Yes, the likes of Promes and Tagliafico aren’t available with Labyad and Neres under the question mark as well, but there’s plenty additional talent in Ajax’s team, that’s for sure!
Benfica vs. Shakhtar Betting Predictions
The second match we’re going to talk about here is Benfica vs. Shakhtar. The Portuguese beasts had a good outing in the first leg, managing to score a goal, which means a great deal coming into the second leg. The end result was 2-1, nothing they can’t catch up on Thursday.
However, Shakhtar is not to be taken for granted. Remember those two matches they played against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stage, in which they won through sheer tenacity and willpower. Well, you can expect one of those matches on Thursday, meaning Benfica probably won’t nail the winner. In other words, I expect the Ukrainian daredevils to go through!