Premier League Champions Manchester City will be travelling to Belgium for Group A’s third game of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League season against Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium. Manchester City are currently third in the group behind leaders PSG and second-placed Club Brugge. Brugge drew their opening day game against PSG followed by a win against RB Leipzig. Man City, on the other hand, started with a 6-3 win over Leipzig on the opening day followed by a defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain. Pep Guardiola’s men will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the UCL to solidify a top-two place in the group to go through to the knockout stages of the competition.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have had decent form domestically, and are third in the Premier League behind Liverpool in second and Chelsea at first. The Belgian side Club Brugge ae second in their domestic league, level on point with leaders Union St. Gilloise. Both teams will be hoping to carve out a win a solidify their position in group A of the UEFA Champions League.
The above viz shows the overall xG of the various teams in the UEFA Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s citizens have been a force to be reckoned with going forward in the past few years. They started this seasons campaign by scoring six goals in their 6-3 win over Leipzig, followed by a 2-0 defeat against PSG. They have recorded an overall xG of 2.30. The Belgian side Club Brugge have also ad a decent start to their camping as they kicked off with a 1-1 draw against PSG followed by a 2-1 away win over Leipzig. They’ve managed to score three goals and conceded two with an overall xG of 1.39 in their two matches.
This viz shows the positional attacks created by various teams in the UCL in their first two games. Club Brugge have had a total of 28 positional attacks, while Man City have had 27. Both teams have had a similar attacking approach in games, but Guardiola’s Man City have been more clinical in front of the goal and have been able to convert their lesser number of attacks and shots into more goals.
Both Club Brugge and Man City have had an almost equal number of passes into the final third with 47 ad 48 respectively. As both teams have faced similar opposition in the first two games, they have been able to produce similar attacking statistics as well.
In the first two games, Man City have scored six goals, but have also conceded five. On the other hand, Club Brugge have scored thrice and only conceded two in their opening two games. This indicates that both teams are good going forward, but at the moment, Brugge seem to be more resolute and effective in defence.
Club Brugge’s strong defence can be noticed by looking at the defensive statistics of the clubs in the UCL. They have the 9th highest number of defensive duels contested and have also had a decent win rate in defensive as well as aerial duels. On the other hand, Manchester city cannot be seen in the list of top 20 clubs for the number of defensive duels.
Pep Guardiola will know that defence will be a concern for him in the upcoming games of the Champions League. 20-21 UCL finalists Man City will hope to turn around their defensive form, as they will look to pick up a victory over Club Brugge to enter the top two of the group and solidify their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.
On the other hand, Club Brugge have had a decent start to the campaign, and are currently second in their group. Phillipe Clement will know that a result against Man City this week can put them in a very strong position in the group. This will be one of the most interesting games in this Matchweek, as both teams will be putting in their everything to come out with a victory.
Club Brugge’s Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): GK: Simon Mignolet, LB: Eduard Sobol, CBs: Stanley N’Soki and Jack Hendry, RB: Clinton Mata, LM: Hans Vanaken, CM: Mats Rits, RM: Ruud Vormer, LW: Noa Lang ST: Charles De Ketelaere, RW: Kamal Sowah. (Injuries: Ruben Providence)
Manchester City’s Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): GK: Ederson, LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko, CBs: Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias, RB: Kyle Walker, LM: Kevin De Bruyne, CM: Rodri, RM: Ilkay Gundogan, LW: Jack Grealish, CF: Phil Foden, RW: Gabriel Jesus. (Injuries: Ferran Torres)