Champions League: Club Brugge v Man Utd preview

Manchester United head into their Champions League play-off second leg against Club Brugge aiming for a spot in the group stage of Europe’s elite competition after missing out last season. Lous Van Gaal’s side will take a 3-1 lead to the atmospheric Jan Breydel Stadion on Wednesday after Memphis Depay’s brace and Marouane Fellaini’s last-ditch third at Old Trafford last week but the Belgians have a crucial away goal. A 2-0 win for Brugge would be enough to take them through at United’s expense on the away goals rule, but United – three-time winners of the competition – will be in confident mood of making progress having made an unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign. Marouane Fellaini: Scored a last-ditch goal to help United earn a 3-1 win over Club Brugge They were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home by Newcastle on Saturday, though, and eyes are sure to be on goal-shy striker Wayne Rooney. The England striker has failed to find the back of the net for United since a 3-1 win against Aston Villa in April – a barren run that spans 10 games and 858 minutes and his worst since 2007. Man utd didn’t feature in the competition last season, but had previously reached the group stages for 18 years in succession and will not want to miss out this time around. Louis van Gaal: The head coach will hope captain Wayne Rooney finally ends his goal drought Van Gaal is expecting an uncomfortable night in Belgium and told the official Man utd website: “It is a difficult ground, and it is not a simple opponent. I have read in the papers in England that it is simple and it is a walkover, but it isn’t like that. “Brugge against Panathinaikos, they won 3-0 [in the previous round]. It is still a game, but because of our third goal we now have more confidence.” Memphis Depay: The flying Dutchman bagged a brace in the first leg at Old Trafford Brugge, meanwhile, haven’t made the group stages since the 2005/06 season when they finished third in Group A behind Juventus and Bayern Munich. Michel Preud’homme’s side head into the tie on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Zulte- Waregem on Saturday, a result that leaves them sixth in the Belgian Pro League with only seven points from five matches, but they are currently riding a 10-game unbeaten streak in Europe. Michel Preud’homme’s side are unbeaten in 10 European home games The former Belgium international goalkeeper believes his side will need divine intervention to prevent United from claiming a spot in the group stage. “Miracles happen sometimes, but they are two goals in front and they are a very professional team,” Preud’homme said. “To get a miracle, you need to be perfect and you need the other to not play at his best potential. We have a lot of players out, too. “If we want to have a chance, we have to be perfect. It will be very difficult, but let’s pray.”