Scott McTominay is in line to start while Eric Bailly could replace Victor Lindelof when Manchester United take on Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League.
Manchester United will be aiming to seal safe passage to the next phase of the UEFA Europa League when they host Club Brugge in the second leg of their Round of 32 tie on Thursday night. And manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not have any fresh injury concerns heading into the game.
Manchester United will be without Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba though, while Lee Grant also remains sidelined. Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe have returned to training, but will not be rushed back into the first-team picture right away.
Providing an update on the condition of his squad in his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer said, “We had a couple of knocks in training but hopefully they’ll be ok. But, we’ve got a strong and fit 25-man squad and it was a good session. We’re looking stronger.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 26, 2020
Manchester United fielded a three-man backline last time out against Club Brugge, but having tasted success with a 4-2-3-1 formation against Watford at the weekend, Solskjaer is likely to stick with the same shape on Thursday. There will be the customary change, in goal with Sergio Romero replacing David de Gea for the European tie.
But, Solskjaer might not look to tweak the rest of the team much, given the importance of the game. That could see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw continue as the full-backs, while captain Harry Maguire is a certainty at the heart of the Manchester United defence.
But, there is a strong possibility that Eric Bailly could start alongside Maguire against Brugge. Having not featured since making his comeback against Chelsea, Bailly could walk into the team replacing Victor Lindelof.
There could be a significant alteration in the middle of the park as well, with Scott McTominay set to return to the side. The Scotsman returned from injury against Watford at the weekend and should get the nod here ahead of Nemanja Matic, who could use a rest. Partnering McTominay in the double pivot should be the in-form Fred.
Bruno Fernandes has made a huge impact since joining Manchester United in January. Speaking of the Portuguese in his presser, Solskjaer said, “Well, we feel we’ve added some X factor and quality with Bruno. The addition of Bruno gives us that little bit of a different flavour.”
“He’s a player who likes to play penetrative passes, forward passes. He likes to task risks, which a Man United player should do. I think his imagination, or his overview, his picture, is a couple of seconds ahead of other players. That’s one of his strengths: knowing what he wants to do when he gets it.”
Fernandes ought to be a guaranteed starter in the No. 10 role against Brugge. Flanking him on the wings should once again be Mason Greenwood and Daniel James, both of whom impressed in the Watford win. Anthony Martial has been in splendid form of late and should get the nod ahead of Odion Ighalo, whose wait for a full debut continues.
Manchester United Predicted Lineup: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, James; Martial