Preview: Leicester City v Club Brugge

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Leicester City go into Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Club Brugge knowing that a draw with Group G’s bottom club will see them through to the last-16 of the competition.

Champions League
23 November 2016
Kickoff: 03:45 HKT
Venue: King Power Stadium (Leicestershire)

Referee: G. Debart
Assistants: F. Cano, T. Chapron
Fourth official: C. Gringore

Head-to-head summary:

Leicester 1 1 0 0
Club Brugge 1 0 0 1

Player to watch:

After last season’s heroics in the Premier League, another huge 2016/17 season was predicted for Riyad Mahrez. Yet, his hot and cold form has perhaps reflected the Foxes’ struggles this campaign. With that said, the Algeria international has shone in the Champions League.

The 25-year-old bagged a brace against Club Brugge in the Foxes first ever game in Europe’s most prestigious club tournament, and hit the winner against FC Copenhagen as well. While he hasn’t perhaps been his brilliant best in the EPL, he’ll no doubt look to make history and play a starring role in helping Claudio Ranieri’s side qualify for the last-16.

A man in some solid goalscoring form for the visitors is striker Jelle Vossen, who has hit the back of the net in back-to-back Belgium Pro League games against Genk and Sint-Truiden for the Michel Preud’homme-coached outfit.

In addition, the former Middlesbrough and Burnley forward has scored his side’s only goal in this Champions League season when he netted against Porto in October.

Team form and manager quotes:

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has expressed some of his frustrations at his club’s recent poor run in the Premier League. Three defeats in their last five matches sees Leicester remain just two points off the relegation places in England’s top flight.

Ahead of the clash with Club Brugge, City lost to Watford after conceding two early goals, but Ranieri wants to use this defeat to spur on the English champions on Tuesday.

He said: “It’s not easy when you start the match and your opponent scores two fantastic goals, but we reacted and that for me is important. All our frustrations we have to use now for Club Brugge.”

Meanwhile, the manager of the visitors, Michel Preud’homme, believes his side are finally getting value for some of the good football they are producing at times. The Blue-Black visit the King Power Stadium having recorded a victory courtesy of a last minute goal against Sint-Truiden in the Pro League.

Prior to that the Belgian champions had managed four losses, four wins and two draws in the team’s last 10 outings.

Yet, Preud’homme is sticking to his guns that the Blue-Black will play attacking football: “As a football fan, I can occasionally be frustrated. We try to play football and sometimes we are not rewarded.”

Team news:

Striker Islam Slimani will be assessed ahead of the match after missing last Saturday’s defeat to Watford following a minor groin injury for Leicester. Midfielder Nampalys Mendy and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel are both ruled out with injury.

Club Brugge are without the suspended midfielder Ruud Vormer as well as striker, Abdoulay Diaby, who is injured. However, winger Lior Rafaelov is available after recovering from injury.