Tau on the plane to Manchester but will he face United?
Club Brugge coach may use the South African in the Europa League tie
Percy Tau flew to Manchester with his Belgium side Club Brugge on Wednesday but whether he gets to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday remains to be seen.
His chances will have been enhanced by Brugge’s decision to leave behind top striker Emmanuel Denis‚ who scored in the first leg of the Europa League last 16 tie in Belgium last Thursday but picked up an injury at the weekend.
Denis is not fit to play in the return match.
Tau had not featured in the starting line-up for four matches before Brugge coach Philippe Clement went for the surprise element and stuck the Bafana Bafana striker into the starting line-up last Thursday.
But Tau‚ 25‚ was taken off after failing to make an impact and was then left on the bench at the weekend as Brugge stayed top of the log in the Belgian league despite a 1-1 draw with Charleroi.
Tau is short on game time in recent weeks but his ability to conjure up something special‚ together with Denis’s absence‚ means the coach must be thinking again about starting the South African.
It would be a big stage for Tau who has already this season played at another of world football’s iconic venues — Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu.
Tau could take inspiration from Benni McCarthy‚ who in 2004 helped FC Porto eliminate the Red Devils in the Champions League.
McCarthy scored both goals in a 2-1 win in the first leg for FC Porto at home and then set up the goal for teammate Costinha in the return in Manchester as Porto advanced 3-2 on aggregate in a tie that put Jose Mourinho on the world football map.
Brugge will be underdogs against a Manchester United side that had a convincing 3-0 win against Watford over the weekend.