MX23RW : Tuesday, August 4 02:59:24| >> :600:130183:130183:
Sep 18, 2019 at 5.55pm UK at Jan Breydelstadion
Attendance: 26,616
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Preview: Club Brugge vs. Galatasaray - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Club Brugge and Galatasaray go into Wednesday's Champions League showdown at the Jan Breydelstadion knowing that their fixtures against each other represent their best chances of picking up points in this season's group stage.

Paired alongside heavyweights Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in Group A, it would take a major upset for either to make it into the knockout stages, but a good start on matchday one could offer a glimmer of hope.

Match preview

Philippe Clement pictured during his time in charge of Genk in April 2019© Reuters

Club Brugge have established themselves as regulars on the Champions League scene in recent years, with this their third group-stage appearance in four years and their seventh overall.

However, they have never made it beyond the group stages, and their chances of doing so ahead of Real Madrid, PSG and even Galatasaray this time around look slim to say the least.

Brugge do have pedigree in this competition, though - they are the only Belgian team to have reached a European Cup final, having done so in 1978 when they were beaten by Liverpool.

A lot has changed since then, of course, and seeing their domestic rivals Genk, who beat Brugge to the title last season, ship six goals at Red Bull Salzburg in their own Champions League opener on Tuesday night will not have filled them with confidence.

New Brugge boss Philippe Clement was the man who steered Genk to that title, though, and the former Belgium international, who once spent a season in the Premier League with Coventry City, will now be looking for similar success in the dugout of the club he is most closely associated with.

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim pictured in May 2019© Reuters

Speaking of managers with a close association to a club, Fatih Terim is Mr. Galatasaray having made more than 400 appearances for them during his playing days and then managing them on no fewer than four separate occasions.

The latest stint has been no less successful than previous ones too, winning back-to-back Super Lig titles since his return in 2017 to take his own personal tally in charge of the club to eight league crowns.

Such dominance on the domestic stage has not translated to Europe, though, with Gala having won just one of their last 15 continental outings and having failed to win a European game outside of Turkey since 2013 - a run of 17 matches.

The champions did not get off to the best start in the latest defence of their crown either, picking up just one point from their opening two games before recovering with successive wins either side of the international break.

Discipline may be something to keep an eye on, meanwhile, with Terim's side having had a man sent off in each of their opening three league fixtures - not until Friday's 1-0 win over rock-bottom Kasimpasa did they end a game with 11 men on the field.

Club Brugge form: DDWWDW

Galatasaray form: LDWW

Team News

Galatasaray's new signing Radamel Falcao during the presentation on September 4, 2019© Reuters

No fewer than 14 players came through the doors at Galatasaray this summer, the most high profile of which was undoubtedly Radamel Falcao.

The Colombian has hit the ground running too, scoring the winning goal on his debut at the weekend, and he will most likely lead the line again in this match.

The visitors will be without Younes Belhanda after suffering a broken jaw last time out, but Mario Lemina - on loan from Southampton - may recover in time after being withdrawn 30 minutes in when he felt unwell and Ryan Donk could feature against his former club.

Emre Akbaba is absent from the Champions League squad entirely, meanwhile, having suffered a broken leg towards the end of last season.

Galatasaray have a host of familiar names in their squad, many of whom joined from English clubs this summer, including Lemina, Ryan Babel, Jean Michael Seri and Florin Andone.

Brugge's most notable summer signing also came from England, with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet joining from Champions League holders Liverpool.

The hosts largely have Hans Vanaken to thank for getting them to this stage, with the midfielder having scored in three of their four Champions League qualifiers.

Clement will not be able to call upon Mbaye Diagne, though, after he joined Brugge on loan from Galatasaray during the summer despite topping the Super Lig scoring charts with 30 goals last season.

Club Brugge possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Ricca, Deli, Mitrovic, Mata; Vanaken, Rits, Vormer; Diatta, Okereke, Bonaventure

Galatasaray possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Mariano, Luyindama, Marcao, Nagatomo; Nzonzi, Lemina, Seri, Babel, Feghouli; Falcao

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We say: Club Brugge 0-1 Galatasaray

Brugge are a team in decent form, but it is a different kettle of fish at this level. Galatasaray have plenty of experience in this competition and also have players capable of hurting the hosts, so we are backing a narrow away victory.


Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between Club Brugge and Galatasaray?

Club Brugge
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