Man Utd v Club Brugge – Old Trafford at 19:45 live on BT Sports Europe
Manchester United return to the Champions League this evening having missed out on European football last year for the first time in 19 years. They face Belgian side Club Brugge in the first leg of their qualification tie at Old Trafford.
Utd have started their domestic season well, winning their first 2 matches, at home to Tottenham and away to Aston Villa. Both matches ended 1-0, but the Red Devils were far from convincing, failing to cover their Asian Handicap betting line in either fixture. Two clean sheets will have pleased Louis Van Gaal but with only 3 shots on target, they need to improve going forward.
There is no doubt that the new signings made over the summer have improved Utd’s squad and they look to be a more well-balanced team than last year. It may take a bit more time for them to reach their best but a comfortable win will be expected here.
Club Brugge shouldn’t be completely dismissed however, as they have a decent record in Europe. Last year they went unbeaten in 15 matches on their way to the Europa League quarter final where they were knocked out by losing finalists Dnipro. Brugge conceded just 6 goals in their 10 matches after qualification and will no doubt set up very defensively at Old Trafford tonight.
The Belgian Pro League’s runners up have already knocked out Panathinaikos in the last round of qualification 4-2 but have failed to make it to the group stages of the Champions League in over 10 years. Brugge have also never won a match in England in 11, drawing two, losing nine, whereas Utd have a great record at home to Belgian sides, winning their last 3.
There is no doubt that Man Utd are the stronger side and are rightfully chalked up as big odds on favourites at 1.36. I fully expect them to win tonight, but with only 3 shots on target in their first 2 EPL matches and still not playing that fluently, I can’t back them -1.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market at 2.02.
With their European history and the importance of this game, Utd could well step it up a gear but I make the 2.02 a bit short. Instead, I’m turning my attentions to the Over/Under market. LVG will want another clean sheet and Brugge will play defensively, keeping it as tight as possible, hoping to still be in the tie for the return leg next week. Under 2.5 goals at 2.20 is a big price and one not to turn down.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals at 2.20
Prices correct at time of writing.
For large stakes on the Uefa ChampionsLeague contact Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, where winners are welcomed.