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Why Solskjaer’s Man Utd line-up against Club Brugge is good news for Eric Bailly

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made six changes to the starting eleven that defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

The United boss has retained a five-at-the-back formation against Belgian outfit Club Brugge in tonight’s Europa League round of 32 first-leg.

What is most noticeable is just how strong the bench is in comparison to the team Solskjaer has fielded this evening.

Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Daniel James are all among the substitutes.

Another player taking his place on the bench is Eric Bailly. Victor Lindelof returns in the Ivorian’s position after a recent bout of illness.

Bailly was exceptional on his long-awaited return from injury at Stamford Bridge, making a number of key blocks and interceptions as he kept a clean sheet alongside Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw.

READ MORE: Confirmed Man Utd XI to face Club Brugge: Solskjaer makes six changes as Mata starts

The jury is still out to an extent with Lindelof and Bailly is a mercurial talent gifted with athleticism that works so well alongside Maguire.

Bailly may perhaps feel he is unlucky not to retain his place this evening, but perhaps Solskjaer has one eye on the Premier League fixture against Watford on Sunday afternoon.

There is always a concern that Bailly could sustain a serious injury and the club need to do all they can to keep him fit until the end of the season.

It wouldn’t be wise to start the 25-year-old in three games in a week; being rested against Brugge could be a show of faith from the United manager that Bailly is already in his first-team plans.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see the central defender back in the starting eleven at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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