Date: 18th August 2015 at 11:52am
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Manchester United and Club Brugge meet for the first time on Tuesday night in the first-leg of their crucial Champions League play-off at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils go into this game after securing back-to-back 1-0 wins in the Premier League. Victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa have fired them to third.

Having missed out on Champions League football last term for the first time since 1995-96, Louis van Gaal secured a fourth placed finish in his first season as a Premier League manager to get the club back into the big time.

David De Gea is unlikely to replace Sergio Romero in goal as his transfer saga surrounding a possible move to Real Madrid rumbles on, while Phil Jones is United’s only injury concern.

15th March 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Man Utd goalkeeper David De Gea celebrates their 2nd goal - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Wayne Rooney has been given the number nine role this season but is yet to return with any goals. He will be looking to add to his United total of 230 strikes in 481 matches in all competitions.

Their opponents and last season’s Belgian champions, Club Brugge, are lying third in the Jupiler Pro League having taken seven points from their opening four matches.

Youngster Tuur Dierckx has scored two goals already this season and is the side’s top goalscorer and main threat.

United’s fragile defence has made improvements this season, with two clean sheets, but they’ll still need to watch out for the Belgium striker.

Brugge, managed by Michel Preud’homme, have already beaten Greek side Panathinaikos to reach the play-off round, but have not played in the group stages of the competition since the 2005-06 season.

United have won all three previous home games against Belgian opponents by an aggregate score of 18-1. All those matches were against Anderlecht.

The Old Trafford outfit will need to attack to take a lead back to Belgium but will be wary of becoming exposed as away goals will be crucial over the two matches.

League Position: Man Utd – 3rd, 6pts; Club Brugge – 3rd, 7pts
League Form: Man Utd -WW; Club Brugge – LWDW
Key Men: Man Utd – Wayne Rooney; Club Brugge – T. DierckxShoot Says: 2-0

 
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