Club Brugge will welcome SL Benfica to the Jan Breydel Stadium Stadium for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash on Wednesday.
Out-of-sorts Club Brugge welcome Portuguese giants Benfica for the first time to the RJan Breydel Stadium in their round of 16 first-leg tie in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Scott Parker’s side have been going through a poor run of form, failing to win their previous seven games in all competitions. This moved them to fourth place in the Belgian Pro League. And they need a big statement to get their campaign on track.
Benfica, on the other hand, are top of their league and will be aiming to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the second time in two years. They are smarting from Taca de Portugal’s defeat to Sporting Braga on penalties and will be keen to avoid going two matches in a row without a win for the first time since December 2022.
Brugge were the surprise package of the competition this season, qualifying for the knockout stages for the first time in their history since the competition was rebranded as the Champions League. The fact that they got past Atlético Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage deserves special praise.
Benfica are not the strongest side in the competition, and the draw largely favors Brugge. Roger Schmidt’s side, however, go into the tie as favourites. And how the first leg turns out can be an indication of what to expect on the second leg.
It promises to be an interesting contest between two sides at opposite ends of the form spectrum. Hard tackle looks at how both sides can line up and what tactics they can use in the game.
Club Brugge Predicted Lineup (4-4-2):
Mignolet; Mata, Hendry, Mechele, Meijer; Rits, Onyedika, Vanaken; Buchanan, Yaremchuk, Lang
SL Benfica Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1):
Vlachodimos; Bah, Silva, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Florentino, Chiquinho; Mario, Neres, Aursnes; Guedes