Man Utd’s Fellaini back for CL play-off against compatriots Brugge
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has spoken ahead of his side’s return to the Champions League, with the Red Devils huge 3/10 odds-on home favourites with Coral to beat Club Brugge (8/1) in their first leg play-off.
It will be the first time that the two teams have played against each other competitively, but two United stars Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini will be relishing going up against the club from their homeland Belgium.
Van Gaal suggested that Fellaini, who is currently serving a Premier League ban after getting sent of last season, could start at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils cult hero is a terrific 2/1 shout to score anytime.
Compatriot Januzaj, who Van Gaal had brought in to sit next to him for the pre-match press conference, could also start for the second game in succession after his match-winning goal against Aston Villa in the top flight.
The talented young Belgium international is an 11/4 chance in the anytime market, and he is also the result of a Coral special. Odds of 5/2 are available for Januzaj to score and Man Utd win (max stake £20).
Others that could be given a chance include Javier Hernandez, James Wilson and Andreas Pereira, who will all be hoping to impress their ruthless head coach. They are all priced at 5/4 to net anytime.
Memphis Depay, meanwhile, has not quite lived up to the hype from his first two competitive games for United, getting subbed off in both without scoring. The young Dutchman will be looking to get his confidence up by striking past Brugge, and is also 5/4 in the same market.
For the visitors, who came second in their domestic league last term, United’s boss has pointed out Victor Vasquez, who was on Barcelona’s books when Van Gaal was in charge of them during both spells, as a threat.
Catalan-born attacker Vasquez has two Champions League medals to his name with Barca, despite limited game time, and Van Gaal said: “I think he is very good, one of the key players,” Van Gaal said. “Not only fast but he has good vision.”
Vasquez, who got five European goals last term for Brugge and won Belgian Footballer of the Year, is an enticing 6/1 shout to score anytime here. New signing Abdoulay Diaby (5/1) and Costa Rican defender Oscar Duarte (16/1), who netted against Uruguay at the 2104 World Cup, are others to watch out for.
Van Gaal has certainly done his homework on Brugge, and said on opposite head coach Michael Preud’homme’s side: “I think [Preud’homme’s] teams are always organised and have a very good structure.
“You can see his view and his philosophy and I respect that. I believe we were opponents but I don’t know the results at that time. If I lost, then I’ll have to make it equal and then I am very happy!”
The Dutchman also confirmed that Phil Jones only injury concern for his side, meaning Marcos Rojo could get a run-out to improve his match fitness at the expense of either Chris Smalling or Daley Blind.
Coral’s betting tip: Januzaj scores anytime and Man Utd win (max stake £20) @ 5/2