Manchester United's improved form in attacking areas makes them firm favourites to beat Club Brugge at Old Trafford and progress from the UEFA Europa League last 32 on Thursday.
Anthony Martial gave the Red Devils a vital away goal during the first leg in Belgium. The Frenchman has scored in each of his last three games in all competitions, including a 2-0 win over Chelsea and beating Watford 3-0 in the Premier League.
United's six-goal run has been inspired by Martial's pace and power, along with the craft of midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The January signing scored and assisted against the Hornets on Sunday after impressing as a substitute in Bruges.
There's a potential further boost for United, with Brugge attacking talisman Emmanuel Dennis ruled out. He won't be involved after getting injured during Sunday's 1-0 win over Charleroi in the Belgian First Division A, per MailOnline's Simon Jones.
The gifted wide forward scored in the first leg and caused havoc with his speed and movement.
Date: Thursday, February 27
Time: 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET
TV Info: BT Sport 2
- United: -215 (bet $215 to win $100)
- Brugge: +705 (bet $100 to win $705)
- Draw: +310 (bet $100 to win $310)
Odds per Caesars Palace.
United will need the energy and dynamism of Fernandes to ensure finishing the job against Brugge.
The Portugal international has made a fast start to life at Old Trafford, including bossing Watford:
The former Sporting CP ace's introduction for the final 15 minutes of the first leg awoke United from a slight slumber. Fernandes' willingness to take shots on, his eye for a pass and relentless movement accelerated the pace of play and gave the Red Devils the chance to put the tie to bed.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be wise to play Fernandes from the start and try to get the job done early in Manchester.
The United manager still doesn't have striker Marcus Rashford or playmaker Paul Pogba at his disposal, but the Martial-Fernandes double act has enough to trouble the Brugge defence.
Martial is putting together a commendable scoring run after netting his 15th goal of the campaign on Sunday, but the mercurial frontman is still being challenged by his manager:
As for the visitors, Brugge will likely look to absorb pressure initially and trust their pace to create openings on the counter. It's a sound strategy even without the athleticism of reported Borussia Dortmund target Dennis.
Brugge can still rely on Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Percy Tau to stretch the United back line. If Belgian schemer Hans Vanaken is given time and space in midfield, the South Africa international will get opportunities to be released behind the hosts' defence.
Vanaken has netted 13 goals in all competitions this season. He has the range, technique and shooting power to help Brugge play a more direct game and get the ball forward quicker while still keeping a solid shape at the back.
Brugge will be pragmatic and try to frustrate, but Fernandes can encourage a rapid start from the home side. His drive, along with Martial's growing ruthless streak, will be enough for United to advance.