It's Chelsea v Manchester United! Loan stars ready to face off in Belgium

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Thorgan Hazard and Nick Powell will both feature in the game between Zulte-Waregem and Wigan Athletic in the Europa League this evening.

Wigan Athletic are potentially going to play in the biggest game of their history this evening - when they face off against Belgian league runners-up Zulte-Waregem in the Europa League Group Stage.

It is a truly remarkable feat for the now Championship side, that they rightfully earned by defeating Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley at the end of last season - the fact they were relegated in the same season was an unfortunate turn of events.

But Owen Coyle, who took over from Everton bound Roberto Martinez, this summer has tried his best to assemble a team that can bounce straight back to the Premier League. With that in mind he has made some rather astute signings it has to be said. The likes of Grant Holt, James McClean, Scorr Carson and James Perch are excellent deals - as is the loan signing of Manchester United starlet Nick Powell.

Despite the obvious promise the 19-year-old former Crewe Alexandra attacking midfielder possesses, making an impact at Old Trafford has been touch. He is now at the DW and expected to start this evening in Belgium.

Which should be interesting, as he will pit his wits against a Chelsea loanee playing in a similar role on the opposing side.

Thorgan Hazard is enjoying his second loan spell with the Belgian outfit after an excellent term with the club last year. Despite his excellent form there was, like with Powell, no real chance of him playing regular football so Hazard, himself only recently 20, decided to return would be his best option.

Both players are extremely talented, but also very different. Powell is more physically imposing; he has a touch of the young Frank Lampard about him. Hazard is more crafty, a dribbler with an eye for incision, much like his older brother Eden.

Both are likely to play just behind the front-man, tasked with feeding off his scraps and being the link between midfield and attack - both will do it in different ways.

But two of England’s biggest club sides have two of their best young talents facing off against each other in a Europa League tie in Belgium this evening - so both sets of fans might just want to keep an eye on this tie come 18:00.

image: © mikehamm

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