MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has decided to stick with the same starting XI that defeated Aston Villa in the Premier League last Friday for today’s Champions League play-off against Club Brugge.
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This means that Adnan Januzaj, who scored the only goal in that contest, will keep his place in the starting line-up and will support captain Wayne Rooney in the attack.
Memphis Depay gets another chance to impress his manager on the left flank with Ashley Young staying on the bench.
Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin, who have been impressive thus far in their central role in midfield in protecting the back four, continue with that role in the centre of the pitch with Chris Smalling and Daley Blind holding things down in the heart of the defense.
Rooney, who struggled to get involved against Aston Villa, will be hoping for a better performance against Club Brugge as he seeks to get off the mark in the campaign.
There is no David de Gea in the match day squad, as Sergio Romero keeps his place between the sticks, with youngster Sam Johnstone named as his backup.
Marouane Fellaini is back on the bench after missing the opening two Premier League games because of suspension. He is still ineligible for league contests but can play in the Champions League because his red card only holds up for domestic competition.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javier Hernandez, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are also on the substitutes bench.
Midfield playmaker Victor Vazquez, who has been identified as the dangerman for Club Brugge, starts for the visitors and Van Gaal has warned his team to keep a keen eye on the Spaniard.
Manchester United will be hoping to secure a victory to take into the second leg, which will take place in Belgium next week.
Manchester United: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Memphis, Januzaj, Rooney. Subs: Johnstone, Valencia, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Chicharito Hernandez.
Club Brugge: Bruzzese, Cools, Mechele, Duarte, De Bock, Vormer, Simons, Vazquez, Dierckx, Diaby, Bolingoli. Subs: Bolat, De Fauw, Oulare, Castelletto, Vanaken, Claudemir, De Sutter.