Opposing both teams to score is the best way to approach Club Brugge v Man United, reckons Michael Lintorn...
"Club Brugge are capable of contributing to the “Both Teams to Score? No” cause, having fired blanks in two of their most recent four outings and kept three clean sheets in six."
Club Brugge 4.57/2 v Man United 1.9210/11; The Draw 3.7511/4
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Either Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme is doing his best "Roberto Mancini downplaying Manchester City's title chances in spring 2012" impression or he has been admirably candid about how he perceives his team's chances after a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
In his post-match interview, he said that "if we have to miss our captain and central defender, with all our injured players, I don't see the solution to beat Manchester United". To confirm that wasn't just heat-of-the-moment gloom, he has since stated that: "This would be a great miracle. We need to play perfectly and they can't play to their potential." To prove his point, they are 20.019/1 to qualify.
Whereas in 2014/15, Man United appeared to be in a state of almost permanent rotation, Louis van Gaal has found a formula for this season and stuck with it, picking nine players in all four of their fixtures to date, only mixing things up occasionally with two of his midfield positions.
However, the strategy failed for the first time at home to Newcastle on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw, so it will be intriguing to see if the Dutch tactician makes any adjustments.
The Red Devils are judged to be 1.9210/11 favourites, but the statistics paint that as a more enticing lay than back.
For starters, the 20-time (20-time) English champs have won one of their past seven Champions League away games, losing to the likes of Galatasaray and Olympiakos and being held by Real Sociedad in that sequence. They were vanquished on their last two trips to Belgium as well.
On the other hand, Club Brugge are unbeaten in ten as hosts in European competitions and have been conquered by just one of their previous nine English visitors - Birmingham oddly enough - getting the better of five of them.
Both Teams to Score
This wager landed in the first leg at Manchester's most slumber-suggestive theatre, but it took an own goal - a pure one too, not a barely noticeable deflection - to get the guests on the scoresheet and they recorded one attempt in total in those 90 minutes, including off-target and blocked efforts.
That was the only of Man United's four 2014/15 encounters not to feature at least one clean sheet and indeed the sole one in which they were breached, and it was Michael Carrick rather than an opposition attacker doing the damage.
Club Brugge are also capable of contributing to the "Both Teams to Score? No" cause, having fired blanks in two of their most recent four outings - the latest a 2-0 weekend reverse to Zulte-Waregem - and kept three clean sheets in six.
This writer doesn't really buy into the demise of Wayne Rooney narrative, yet the combination of his scoreless start to the campaign, the trends hinting that Man United won't net and the skipper's five-match away Champions League dry spell will lead many to judge him an appealing lay at around 2.68/5 to notch.
Back Both Teams to Score? No @ 2.166/5