Preview: Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund

Belgian side Club Brugge and German outfit Borussia Dortmund meet on Tuesday with both teams seeking to win their Group A UEFA Champions League opener at Jan Breydel Stadium.

Champions League
Date: 18 September 2018
Game week 1
Kick-off: 21:00 local time/03:00 HKT (19 September)
Venue: Jan Breydel Stadium

Referee: D. Makkelie
Assistants: M. Diks, H. Steegstra
Fourth official: J. de Vries

Head-to-head summary

Club Brugge 3 3 0 0
Dortmund 3 0 0 3

Previous encounter

Dortmund 3-3 (Penalties 4-2) Club Brugges 19/03/2003 (Champions League)

Players to watch

Striker Jelle Vossen is in good form and could lead the line after his match-winning cameo from the bench at the weekend against Lokeren, that took his total to a club-best four goals in as many appearances. The 29-year-old could give Dortmund’s defence a few problems.

Midfielder Axel Witsel has enjoyed an impressive start for BVB since arriving at the German Bundesliga outfit ahead of 2018/19. The combative player has given Dortmund solidity in the centre of the park and his influence could be substantial on Tuesday night.

Team form and manager quotes

Club Brugge are top of the Belgian top-flight with 19 points from seven matches and have won five matches in a row on home soil.

Nonetheless, manager Ivan Leko is under no illusions as to the huge challenge his side are facing in the form of BVB.

He told reporters: “We must surpass ourselves. We worked on this for a whole year, but we can not be overconfident.

“We have a sober group and we have ambition. And we do not put that away, Club Brugge wants to get points at home. In every match for our own audience we want to make it very difficult for the opponent.”

Meanwhile, the away side are also on a good run and currently trail Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich by two points after three matches.

As such, coach Lucien Favre has praised some key performers such as Jadon Sancho, Alex Witsel and forward Paco Alcacer. The pair were superb in the recent 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

He said: “Sancho, Witsel and Alcacer added new impulses. The 2-1 was a well-crafted goal and after retaking the lead, the team was playing very well.”

Team news

Clinton Mata remains out for the hosts after undergoing groin surgery in June. Other than that, Blauw-Zwart have virtually a clean bill of health.

For the away team, Thomas Delaney misses out with an undisclosed injury while Alcacer is not available due to a minor thigh strain. Raphael Guerreiro is also on the sidelines. Christian Pulisic is fit and could make his 100th appearance for BVB if he plays.