Manchester United vs Club BruggeUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Feb 27, 2020, Old Trafford
THE mood has changed from mutiny back to hope at Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side can keep the feelgood factor going by seeing off Club Brugge to reach the Europa League last 16.
A dark cloud hovered over Old Trafford just a month ago with many fans doubting if Solskjaer was up to the task of managing the club while others even attacked the home of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Punters and pundits are also purring over the displays of January signing Bruno Fernandes, with the Portuguese playmaker underlining his class with a goal and two assists in the weekend win over Watford.
A trip to face a Brugge side who had impressed in the Champions League group stage was a tough assignment for United in the last 32 of the Europa League but they came back from Belgium with a 1-1 draw.
Our man Slips Tips fancied the Red Devils to get a bit of joy in Brugge and I can see United finishing the job at home, although Philippe Clement's men have a great record away from home in Europe this season.
The highlight for the Belgian side was a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid while they also got a point at Galatasaray and only lost 1-0 to PSG at the Parc Des Princes.
Brugge were also undefeated on the road against Dynamo Kiev and Linz in the Champions League qualifiers so United will need to be on top form to qualify.
How the bookies view it
Given Brugge's away form in Europe, a few punters might be tempted by the generous 35/7 on offer at Marathonbet for them to win at Old Trafford. But they have never won in 12 visits to England, losing 10 of those games.
The draw is 3/1 with most firms while United are a bit too short for me at 1/2 with Betfred. I can see Brugge scoring as their only blank on the road in Europe this season came away to PSG. So try a United win with both teams to score at 3/1 with Bet365.
Head to head
These sides have met just once before in Europe, in the Champions League play-offs back in 2015. Manchester United eased to a 4-0 win in Belgium thanks to Wayne Rooney's hat-trick then won 3-1 at Old Trafford, with every goal scored by a player in a red shirt.
Michael Carrick's own goal gave Brugge a shock lead only for a Memphis Depay double and a late Marouane Fellaini goal to seal victory for United.
Players to watch
Given his starring show at the weekend, Fernandes looks decent value for another goal here at 7/4 with Betfred, especially as he seems to be United's new penalty taker.
The former Sporting Lisbon star is also a boosted 5/1 for first scorer at Betfair while Skybet are offering 8/1 on him scoring from outside the box. An assist for Fernandes is a decent 12/5 with Ladbrokes.
Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken has 16 goals for the season, including four in European games. He's 11/2 at Paddy Power for a goal here and that could be worth a speculative punt.
Anything else catch the eye?
Anthony Martial should lead the line for United and I like the look of the 8/5 Ladbrokes price on the Frenchman being offside at least once and having one or more shots on target.
I expect this to be quite a tight match so a one-goal winning margin for either side appeals at 8/5 with Betway.
This UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United and Club Brugge will be played on Feb 27, 2020 and kick off at 20:00