There's a fine line between expecting the unknown and knowing what to expect. Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis represents both for Club Brugge against Manchester United.
The Blauw-Zwart welcome the Red Devils in what is expected to be a thrilling Round-of-32 tie at the Jan Breydel Stadium. This isn't the first time that the two teams will lock horns in Europe. On Friday morning, it will be an opportunity for heroes to rise from either team - and the home side's Nigerian striker is hoping to be one such entity.
Already leading the domestic league by six points, Brugge will now look to emerge as European giant-killers when they will face Manchester United. With 17 goals in 37 appearances for his side since his debut two seasons ago, the 22-year-old has generated some interest among the European bigwigs.
His performance against Real Madrid in October last year had fans on the edge of their seats. Having nabbed a double against his name on the scoreboard, his pace, directness of attack and finishing had Sergio Ramos and Co. on a knife-edge.
The former Zorya Luhansk forward has improved considerably from last season and looks set to hit double-digit goal returns for the first time in his career this time aorund.
Conceding 1.16 goals every match this term in the premier league, Mancehster United's performance in the Europa League is considerably better. They've maintained five clean sheets and conceded just two goals in six games. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will, however, need to be at their vigilant best.
A potent shots per game (SoG) score of over three, it's Bonaventure's runs in behind the defense that's expected to hurt United. Yet, the Red Devils have consistently displayed that they are a different beast when in Europe this term and are widely expected to shackle the forward.
Dennis completed more dribbles (16) than any of his teammate during the Champions League group stages.
The Nigerian has attempted 16 shots in the league, with over 50 per cent on target, a major improvement from last season.
Dennis is lightning quick and can play both on the wings and through the middle. The Nigerian will be a huge asset for Brugge during their counter-attacks, something the United defence have to take into account. They will need to be on their toes against his speed and skill.
Expect a mouth-watering tussle between the world’s most expensive defender, Maguire, and an exciting attacking prospect.