2021-22 UEFA Champions League Group Stage: Week Three – Club Brugge vs Manchester City

Club Brugge welcome Manchester City to Jan Breydel Stadium, Bruges in the latest round of Group A action from 2021-22 UEFA Champions League. 

Victory could see Club Brugge go top for at least a few hours, whereas Man City can leapfrog their Belgian opposition with a win and go top themselves for a few hours at minimum.

 

Team News

Club Brugge have no fresh injury concerns to report as Ruben Providence is still absent with an ankle injury.

Jose Izquierdo is also ruled out as he continues to recover from a long-term knee injury.

Man City manager, Pep Guardiola could welcome Ederson and Gabriel Jesus back into the team after the duo missed Saturday’s Premier League win over Burnley, following late returns from international duty for Brazil.

Ferran Torres (foot), Liam Delap (ankle) and Benjamin Mendy (personal) remain absent.

 

Stat Attack

  • This is Club Brugge’s first-ever meeting against Manchester City in all competitions.
  • Club Brugge are unbeaten in nine of their 12 previous European home matches against English opposition (W6, D3, L3).
  • Man City have won two of three previous away trips to Belgian opposition in all European competitions (W2, L1).
  • Hans Vanaken has scored in both of Club Brugge’s two group matches so far this season.
  • City haven’t lost consecutive away European matches in the same season since they lost all three group matches in 2012-13 Champions League.

 

Prediction

Having produced a solid defence in their opening two matches with a strong pressing game, Club Brugge certainly won’t be easy pushovers but their defence when pushing high up in their defensive third can often leave huge gaps which City must seek to exploit if they’re to win here.

Club Brugge though know that they have a strong home record against English opposition so will be relishing this clash, especially given that victory here could well be crucial to their qualification hopes and morale.

Man City come into this match off the back of a routine win over Burnley but focusing purely on this competition, this match now feels like a must-win because if Club Brugge opens a four-point lead then City face a tough fight to advance to the knockout stage.

City though does need to improve defensively because despite patiently dominating with control in midfield and attack on Saturday, their defence were often caught out by quick sharp attacks from Burnley with Zack Steffen doing a great job in goal to save their blushes.

Patience however feels like it could again be a virtue here for City but if they can score first and weather any dangerous move from Club Brugge, I can see them getting the win but this shouldn’t be an easy contest by any stretch.

Prediction: Club Brugge 1-2 Manchester City

Result: Club Brugge 1-5 Manchester City

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