MX23RW : Sunday, January 16 20:13:42| >> :600:1978048:1978048:
Nov 24, 2021 at 8pm UK at Jan Breydelstadion
BruggeClub Brugge
0-5
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig

Lang (63'), Balanta (85'), Wesley (86')
FT(HT: 0-4)
Nkunku (12', 90+3'), Forsberg (17' pen., 45+1'), Silva (26')
Moriba (86')

Preview: Club Brugge vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Club Brugge and RB Leipzig, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With their hopes of a shock appearance in the Champions League knockout rounds hanging by the thinnest of threads, Club Brugge play host to RB Leipzig in Wednesday's Group A clash.

Meanwhile, Jesse Marsch's men are already eliminated from Europe's premier competition and can only salvage a spot in the Europa League at this late stage.


Match preview

Club Brugge's Noa Lang pictured in September 2021© Reuters

Brugge shocked many by taking four points from their first two clashes with Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain, but a pair of heavy defeats to last season's beaten finalists Manchester City has brought the Belgian champions crashing back down to earth.

After shipping five to the Citizens on their own turf, Brugge fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola's men at the Etihad Stadium, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus all on target for the home side.

Philippe Clement's men are not entirely out of the running for a top-two finish as they sit third in Group A, and at least one of Man City or PSG will drop points in their clash this week, so a positive result on home soil will keep their faint hopes of a knockout berth alive.

However, Brugge do not exactly have the wind in their sails heading into this contest as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to KV Mechelen in the league at the weekend, meaning that they are without a win in three games across all competitions since the start of the month.

On a more positive note, Brugge have kept up their hot streak of scoring in every game they have played in this season and have not failed to find the back of the net at home since March, which ought to spell trouble for a leaky Leipzig defence.

RB Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch reacts on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Meanwhile, Leipzig's doomed Champions League campaign cannot end soon enough, as the Bundesliga outfit hold the unfortunate title of being the Group A whipping boys, but they did at least manage to take a point off Paris Saint-Germain last time out.

Georginio Wijnaldum's brace came after ex-PSG prospect Christopher Nkunku had opened the scoring for Leipzig, and in the second minute of second-half injury time, Dominik Szoboszlai restored parity from the spot to claim Leipzig's first point of the group stage.

Marsch's side had already seen their hopes of a last-16 appearance dashed by three opening defeats in succession - with life after Julian Nagelsmann not exactly rosy - and their five-game unbeaten run in all tournaments came to end at the weekend in a 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim.

Leipzig had started to show a bit of fight with that hot streak but cannot afford to dwell on that dampening defeat for too long, as the visitors must seek to end a miserable run of only two wins from 10 on the road this term, both of which came in the DFB-Pokal.

Goals from Hans Vanaken and Mats Rits saw Brugge prevail 2-1 against Leipzig during their meeting in September, and one would not put it past the Belgian side to repeat the same trick here against a depleted visiting contingent.

Club Brugge Champions League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Club Brugge form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

RB Leipzig Champions League form:
  • L
  • L
  • D

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L



Team News

RB Leipzig's Andre Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Brugge midfielder Eder Balanta returns from a continental suspension for the visit of Leipzig and is set to reclaim his rightful place in the middle, where Rits could also return.

The hosts remain fortunate on the injury front, and Clement will be working with a full-strength squad for this pivotal contest, with the only real dilemma coming in the final third.

Kamal Sowah's re-introduction could see Charles De Ketelaere pushed into a central role, but Bas Dost will not want to drop out after netting his side's consolation in the defeat to Mechelen.

As for Leipzig, the hero of the hour against PSG - Dominik Szoboszlai - was forced off against Hoffenheim with an ankle issue, and Tyler Adams is out of this game through suspension.

Marsch has also been dealt another major blow with Dani Olmo, who is facing the prospect of no football until 2022 due to a torn muscle, and he is joined on the sidelines by Yussuf Poulsen, Mohamed Simakan, Marcel Halstenberg, Amadou Haidara and Konrad Laimer.

Emil Forsberg should make an immediate return to the attack with Szoboszlai out, while 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba can expect to start in midfield amid his side's injury woes.

Club Brugge possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Mata, Hendry, Nsoki, Sobol; Balanta, Rits, Vanaken; Lang, Dost, De Ketelaere

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol; Mukiele, Kampl, Moriba, Angelino; Nkunku, Forsberg; Silva


SM words green background

We say: Club Brugge 2-1 RB Leipzig

A Leipzig side low on numbers and confidence can still pose a major threat to this Brugge backline, especially with Nkunku simply unplayable in the Champions League this term.

The visitors' poor fortunes on the road have to end at some point, and even though Clement's side are going through a bit of a sticky patch themselves, an injury-hit Leipzig will likely fall short once again.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Brugge vs RB Leipzig

Club Brugge
52.9%
Draw
12.5%
RB Leipzig
34.6%
289
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Charles De Ketelaere playing for Belgium against Italy in October 2021.
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Man City 'take serious look at De Ketelaere'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Union SGUnion SG21152450203047
2Club BruggeBrugge22127343281543
3Royal AntwerpAntwerp21124540241640
4Anderlecht22109351272439
5GentGent22105735241135
6CharleroiCharleroi2210573832635
7MechelenMechelen2110383737033
8KortrijkKortrijk218852824432
9Genk218584033729
10Cercle BruggeCercle Brugge2284103028228
11Leuven216872934-526
12EupenEupen2274113038-825
13Sint-Truiden2273122233-1124
14Standard Liege216692335-1224
15KV OostendeOostende2172122343-2023
16Zulte WaregemZulte2165103145-1423
17RFC Seraing2161142342-1919
18Beerschot WilrijkBeerschot VA2023151541-269

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