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Brugge v Man United: Why Belgians can halt Red Devils

| 26.08.2015

Having won the first leg of their Champions League play-off 3-1 Manchester United are heavy odds-on favourites to qualify for the group stages.

However, while Louis van Gaal’s men are priced at 1/20 to reach the group stages of Europe’s biggest competition, there appears to be plenty of value in backing a home win for Brugge in the return leg.

With a 3-1 aggregate lead United can afford to lose and still go through and a quick look at the Blauw-Zwart’s home record suggests they may just have to do that.

Michel Preud’homme’s men have tasted defeat in front of their own fans just once in their last 40 games.

In fact, the hosts have only lost four of their last 17 Champions League games at home, with only Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus and Copenhagen coming out on top at the Jan Breydel Stadiium.

With this in mind and Wayne Rooney yet to locate his shooting boots this term, the 3/1 about a home win looks too good to ignore.

While United were labouring to a bore draw at home to Newcastle at the weekend Brugge scored their 14th goal in six competitive games to record another confidence boosting win.

Last time out in the Champions League Brugge treated their home fans to a 3-0 win against Panathinaikos and while the same result – priced at 50-1 – is unlikely to be achieved against United a smaller margin of victory could well be on the cards.

United are yet to be breached in the Premier League this term, but with Van Gaal knowing a draw or narrow loss would still see his side through, a 1-0 win for the hosts, at odds of 11/1, could also tempt.

Tuur Dierckx has been the main man for Brugge so far, with two goals in his last three games and while the 9/1 on him scoring first look great value in front of his own fans, the 66/1 about him netting in a 1-0 Brugge victory also looks too big to ignore.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.