Club Brugge have reached the group stage twice in the past three seasons, while LASK are making their play-off debut.
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Club Brugge are aiming for a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the third time in four seasons as they take on a LASK side who are making their play-off debut.
• While the Belgian side have already appeared in the group stage six times – including 2018/19 – LASK are playing in only their second UEFA Champions League tie, but claimed a notable scalp in the third qualifying round.
• This is only LASK's fifth match in the European Cup. In 1965/66, as Austrian champions, they were eliminated by Poland's Górnik Zabrze in the preliminary round, losing 3-1 at home and 2-1 away.
• LASK finished second to Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga under Oliver Glasner in 2018/19, Valérien Ismaël succeeding the Wolfsburg-bound coach this summer and guiding the team to a 5-2 aggregate victory against Switzerland's Basel in the third qualifying round thanks to a 2-1 away win and 3-1 home success.
• LASK qualified for UEFA competition in 2018/19 for the first time since 2000, when they reached the second round of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Last season they beat Lillestrøm 6-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, before an away-goals defeat against Beşiktaş in the next stage (0-1 a, 2-1 h).
• The Linz side are bidding to become the fifth Austrian club to appear in the UEFA Champions League group stage, and the first since Austria Wien in 2013/14 – the country's sole appearance since 2005/06.
• LASK have never before faced a club from Belgium.
• Runners-up to Genk in the 2018/19 Belgian league, Club Brugge are looking to reach the group stage for the seventh time, and the second season in a row – something they have only managed once before, in 2003/04.
• In 2018/19, Club Brugge finished third in Group A behind Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid, moving into the UEFA Europa League. There they were eliminated by Austrian side Salzburg, going out 5-2 on aggregate (2-1 h, 0-4 a).
• That gave Club Brugge the record W4 D2 L5 against Austrian sides, the second-leg loss at Salzburg ending a three-match winning run in such fixtures. The Bruges club have won their last three home matches against Austrian visitors.
• This is Club Brugge's second UEFA Champions League play-off, following their 2015/16 defeat by Manchester United (1-3 a, 0-4 h); that loss in Bruges was their heaviest home European defeat. They have not come through the qualifying rounds to reach the group stage since 2005/06.
• Club Brugge won their first five play-off ties in the UEFA Europa League but lost the most recent, against AEK Athens in 2017/18 – they have not won a play-off tie in UEFA competition since beating Grasshoppers in 2014/15.
• On the last three occasions that Club Brugge have reached the UEFA Champions League group stage from the qualifying phase they have done so with penalty shoot-out victories – against Shakhtar Donetsk in 2002/03, Borussia Dortmund in 2003/04 and Vålerenga in 2005/06. Their only other successful such qualification came on away goals against Austria Wien in the inaugural 1992/93 UEFA Champions League.
Links and trivia
• Emanuel Pogatetz was in the Hannover side that beat Club Brugge 2-1 at home and 1-0 away in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• LASK coach Ismaël was in the Bayern München team that beat Club Brugge 1-0 in Munich in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, when Philippe Clement, the Belgian club's current coach, was an unused substitute for the visitors. Both played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw in Bruges that December.