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Leicester’s Champions League adventure begins at Brugge

8 Sep

After their fairy-tale triumph in last season’s Premier League, Leicester City FC turn their sights to the UEFA Champions League as they kick off their Group G campaign away at Club Brugge KV.

Match background

Club Brugge
• The Belgian titleholders are competing in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 2005/06.

• They will hope to fare better at home in Group G than they managed in last term’s UEFA Europa League group stage. En route to finishing third in their group, they suffered home losses to FC Midtjylland (1-3) and SSC Napoli (0-1), either side of a 1-0 win against Legia Warszawa.

• Brugge’s most recent encounter with English opposition came in last season’s UEFA Champions League play-offs against Manchester United FC, when they lost 3-1 at Old Trafford and 4-0 at the Jan Breydelstadion.

• Their overall home record against English sides is W6 D2 L2. However, they have not beaten an English team in Bruges since a 1-0 first-leg success against Chelsea FC in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals (agg 1-2).

• This is first taste of Europe’s elite club competition for the Foxes – and only their fourth season in European competition in their 132-year history. Their last continental adventure came in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and was short-lived as they went down 4-2 on aggregate against FK Crvena zvezda.

• Leicester have played eight matches in European football prior to this season and their record reads W2 D1 L5. Those two victories came in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup when they beat Northern Irish side Glenavon FC home (3-1) and away (4-1) in the first round.

• This will be the sixth UEFA Champions League campaign for coach Claudio Ranieri, who led Chelsea FC to the semi-finals in 2004.

Coach and player links
• Rival coaches Michel Preud’homme and Ranieri met in the European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals in 1996/97. Preud’homme was in goal for an SL Benfica side beaten 2-0 at home by a Ranieri-coached ACF Fiorentina, who advanced as 2-1 aggregate winners after a narrow second-leg defeat in Florence.

• Preud’homme was in the Belgium side beaten 1-0 by England in the round of 16 at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. He was also in the R. Standard de Liège side beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Manchester City FC in the second round of the 1978/79 UEFA Cup.

• As Valencia coach Ranieri oversaw home (2-0) and away (2-1) wins over RSC Anderlecht in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage – the first of those matches taking place on 14 September 2004.

• Andy King appeared a substitute in Wales’s 3-1 quarter-final win over Belgium at UEFA EURO 2016.

• Daniel Amartey got FC København’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage

• Shinji Okazaki scored the third goal in Japan’s 4-0 friendly victory over a Belgium side including Timmy Simons and substitute Jelle Vossen in May 2009. Okazaki’s VfB Stuttgart won 2-0 at KRC Genk in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32 to secure a 3-1 aggregate success

• Marcin Wasilweski played for RSC Anderlecht from 2007 to 2013, winning four Belgian First League titles and one Belgian Cup.

• Vossen had spells with Middlesbrough FC and Burnley FC in England between 2014 and 2015.

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