Matchday 5 in group G kicks-off with a matchup between the 1st ranked and the bottom ranked teams as Club Brugge visits the English Premier League Champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night. The kick-off is scheduled for 20:45 CET (19:45 UK time)!!!
Leicester City are the leaders of the group G, with 10 points in 4 games. The math for the homeside is simple, they need only 1 point in order to reach the knockout stage.
On the other side, the visitors hope to stay in the battle for the 3rd spot which would guarantee them more European competition, come spring time.
FC LEICESTER CITY
If it there not for the success in the Champions league, I am sure that the media in the UK would long ago have started the crucifixion of the Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri. Namely, the 2015/2016 EPL Champions have been awful in the domestic competition this season, holding the 12th spot with 12 points out of 12 games and only 2 points clear from the relegation zone. The Foxes saw their last win on October 22nd, when they defeated Crystal Palace with 3:1 at home. Ever since, they played 3 games in the EPL, suffering 2 losses and 1 draw, while in the Champions league they played 0:0 away against FC Copenhagen.
However, they are a clear favorite against the visitors from Belgium and will certainly look to boost their confidence level with a comfortable win. Their top scorer from last season, Jamie Vardy has only had two shots towards the goal in the first 4 games of the competition, scoring 0 goals. Expect him to have an extra motivation as he needs to start scoring for his team as soon as possible. Kasper Schmeichel, Nampalys Mendy and Leonardo Ulloa are listed to sit out this matchup.
CLUB BRUGGE FC
The visitors are still in the game for the 3rd spot in Group G as they visit the top ranked team on Tuesday night. However, their chances are very slim, considering that they have not won a single point in 4 games, while the currently 3rd ranked Copenhagen FC is ahead with 5 points. Only a miracle could help out the Belgium side to reach the 3rd spot and continue to play in the Europa League. In the first game against the Foxes, Club Brugge has suffered a tough 0:3 home defeat, so their hopes to record a positive result at the King Power Stadium are at the very minimum.
In the domestic competition, Club Brugge has been in a pretty decent form lately, recording 3 wins and 2 losses in the last 5 matches. Currently they are ranked at the 4th position with 27 points, 6 less than the top ranked Waregem. The visitors are aware that their chances against the Foxes are very slim, so they will come out without a lot of pressure. This could actually be a good indication that we are to expect a very open game and a nice show on the pitch. The visitors won’t be able Engels (shoulder) and Rafaelov (groin) for the match against Leicester City.
There is no need to do too much brain storming in this one, as things seem to be very clear. The home side will come out looking to close the deal early on and secure the next stage of the UEFA Champions league. As I have noted before, the game could be very open, which means that we could expect at least 3+ goals. I would also pick Vardy to finally score a goals in the Champions league.
Leicester City expected lineup: Zieler – Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs – Mahrez, King, Drinkwater, Musa – Okazaki, Vardy
Coach: Claudio Ranieri
Club Brugge expected line up: Butelle – van Rhijn, Poulain, Denswil, Cools – Vormer, Claudemir, Pina, Bolingoli-Mbombo – Diaby, Wesley
Coach: Preud’homme Michel
Leicester City FC vs Club Brugge
UEFA Champions League – Group G
Date: Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016,
Kick-Off: 20:45 CET,
Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester.