Sunday, December 5, 2021

Prediction: Club Brugge vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to make an immediate return to European winning ways on Tuesday evening, Manchester City will make the trip to the Jan Breydel Stadium when they face off against Club Brugge.

Club Brugge

Starting with the hosts, while Club Brugge would have been disappointed to have entered the international break with just a 1-1 draw away at Anderlecht, the Belgian giants showed that was just a minor blip. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they cruised their way to a deserved 2-0 win against Kortrijk on home soil, the mood in Philippe Clement’s camp should be at a real high. Opening up their Champions League adventure with an impressive point at home against French heavyweights PSG last month, the defending First Division champions also caught the eye last time out on European duties. Claiming a 2-1 victory against RB Leipzig on foreign soil, Tuesday’s hosts have mustered four points from their opening two Group A contests, and they open the midweek fixtures sat second in the standings. Unbeaten at the Jan Breydel Stadium since way back in May, Club Brugge could be looking to cause another real upset on home soil.

Team News

Former Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet will start between the sticks on Tuesday evening. Likewise, Scottish international Jack Hendry should retain his spot at the heart of Club Brugge’s defence.

Finding the net in his last four Champions League outings, playmaker and skipper Hans Vanaken will look to lead the charge from midfield.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, marking their return from the international break with a routine 2-0 victory at home against Burnley on Saturday, Manchester City will be desperate to keep up that momentum. Heading into October’s break earlier in the month by snatching four points from back-to-back Premier League meetings against Chelsea and Liverpool, Pep Guardiola’s side will now be seeking a European boost in midweek. While the Sky Blues might still be tipped as a standout pick to book a spot out of Group A, last year’s finalists were last seen on Champions League duties getting hit with a 2-0 defeat out in Paris. Making the trip to Bruges on Tuesday evening currently sat outside the top-two, the former Barcelona boss will also be looking to avoid back-to-back Champions League away defeats for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign. However, rightfully tipped as a standout pick here, it should also be noted that Manchester City have won five of their previous six meetings against Belgian opposition.

Team News

Manchester City have confirmed that Ederson and Gabriel Jesus could be back in contention to make their returns in Belgium.

However, Spanish forward Ferran Torres remains out with an injury and will not travel to Belgium on Tuesday evening.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Club Brugge have opened this year’s Champions League run with four points from their first two Group A contests.
    • Defeat for Manchester City on Tuesday would be the first time that Pep Guardiola has lost back-to-back Champions League away fixtures since the 2014/15 campaign.
    • Hans Vanaken has scored in each of his last four European matchups on the spin.
    • Each of City’s last eight Champions League away fixtures have finished with under 3.5 goals.
    • The Sky Blues have won five of their previous six meetings against Belgian opposition.

    Conclusion

    While Club Brugge might have opened this year’s Champions League adventure with a real flurry, they will be aware that they face a stern test on home soil this week. Up against a Manchester City side who will be seeking an immediate boost following last month’s 2-0 defeat against PSG, Pep Guardiola’s side rightfully open Tuesday’s meeting as a standout pick. With their Spanish boss looking to avoid back-to-back Champions League away day defeats for the first time in over five years, City’s stacked squad should be looking to lay down a marker. Although we expect Tuesday’s hosts to prove another rugged test, we’re backing victory for the English heavyweights in midweek.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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