Tonight is the night then that Champions League football comes back to Old Trafford. Well almost, yes it’s a qualifier but we had one of them back in 1998 against Lodz before we went onto win it, so for me, it counts.
It has to count too, Club Brugge will not be a really easy task, not many teams are these days in Europe. They’re a well established outfit and on the up again, but realistically we should be winning comfortable tonight under the lights of Old Trafford. Hopefully then we’ll be heading to their place next week with a nice cushion in front of us.
A normal section of my pre-match blog usually cover where I was, why I was there and what I got up to when we’ve played a specific team in the past. Not today though, as we have never played Club Brugge. When the little plastic ball was opened in the draw two weeks back though, and the piece of paper read “Brugge”. I did have to wonder for a minute or two before confirming to myself, nope we’ve definitely not played them before.
Brugge finished second in their respective league in Belgian last season, so got the chance to try and qualify for the Group Stages once again in this competition. It’s been a while since they’ve done that after their own reasonable success in the early to mid 2000’s, qualifying three times in four seasons.
One player to look out for is the attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez, another talented product of the Barcelona youth system, from where is was born. However he never quite made it there and has being plying his trade with the Belgian club since 2011.
With United’s new signings and with the experience that some players have, we should easily be getting past Club Brugge though. We’ve looked very solid at the back in our opening games against both Villa and Spurs, along with pre-season and I think that’s been a huge aim of the manager. Not surprising really with the huge amounts of pressure that Louis van Gaal has on him from the fans, the board and himself to qualify for latter stages.
Anyway, it’s less than 5 hours until kick off now, hope you’ve enjoyed this short preview today. I have a few things to do and then I’m off to pub for 5pm to have a few scoops with friends, before we make our way in to the Stretford End.
Prediction wise, I was tempted with 3-1 United initially but I think we’ll be cautious again, so I’m going to say 2-0 United with a goal in each half.