With tough fixtures lying ahead, Club Brugge and Galatasaray will each want to make a positive start to Group A.
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Club Brugge and Galatasaray will both be keen to make a positive start as they kick off Group A, with daunting fixtures lying ahead.
• Both teams are in the group stage for the second year running; while Club Brugge have never progressed any further, Galatasaray's last three campaigns have all ended at this point – and, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain also in the section, three points for either side in Belgium would come as a significant boost.
• The sides' only past fixtures came in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage when, after a goalless draw in Turkey on matchday three, Club Brugge won 3-1 at the Jan Breydelstadion thanks to goals from Sandy Martens, Gert Verheyen and Bengt Sæternes, Fábio Pinto with the sole Galatasaray response.
• Those four points enabled Club Brugge to finish third in the section behind Barcelona and Lokomotiv Moskva, moving into the UEFA Cup; Galatasaray finished fourth on four points, one behind their Belgian rivals.
• Second in Belgium behind Genk in 2018/19, this is Club Brugge's seventh UEFA Champions League group campaign, and their third in four years. They have never progressed to the knockout rounds.
• Last season the Blauw-Zwart finished third behind Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid on six points, five ahead of Monaco. Having lost their first two fixtures, the Belgian club were unbeaten in their last four (W1 D3) – the sole victory a 4-0 win at Monaco that represented their biggest away success in the competition. Club Brugge then moved into the UEFA Europa League, losing to Salzburg in the round of 32 (2-1 h, 0-4 a).
• Despite the win at Monaco – which ended a 13-year, 11-game run without a victory (D2 L9) – Club Brugge have won only three of their last 18 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper (D4 L11).
• This season Club Brugge got the better of Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round (1-0 h, 3-3 a) before a play-off victory against Austrian side LASK (1-0 a, 2-1 h).
• The 2-1 success against Salzburg last February ended the club's run of nine home European games without a win (D4 L5), since a 1-0 UEFA Europa League group stage defeat of Legia Warsawa in November 2015.
• Club Brugge's last fixtures against Turkish opposition came in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, when they lost 5-3 on aggregate to İstanbul Başakşehir (3-3 h, 0-2 a). Their home record against Turkish visitors is W2 D1.
• Runners-up to Liverpool in 1978, Club Brugge remain the only team from Belgium to have reached a European Cup final.
• Turkish champions in 2018/19 for a record 22nd time, Galatasaray qualified for a 16th appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage – one more than all other Turkish teams combined.
• Galatasaray kicked off their 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group campaign with a 3-0 home success against Lokomotiv Moskva, but picked up only one more point in their next five fixtures to finish third behind Porto and Schalke. They then lost to Benfica in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 (1-2 h, 0-0 a).
• The defeat of Lokomotiv is Galatasaray's only win in their last 15 European fixtures (D5 L9).
• The draw at Benfica ended Galatasaray's seven-match losing run in European away matches; they failed to score in six of those eight games. They have not won a European match outside Turkey since a 3-2 victory at Schalke in the second leg of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16; their record on the road since then is D3 L14.
• Galatasaray have also lost their last five UEFA Champions League away games – the last four without scoring.
• Gala have never beaten a Belgian club in six previous attempts (D2 L4); they have lost all three away games, most recently 2-0 at Anderlecht in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Links and trivia
• Senegalese striker Mbaye Diagne, who moved to Galatasaray from Kasımpaşa in January and ended 2018/19 as the Süper Lig's top scorer with 30 goals, joined Club Brugge on loan from the Turkish champions this summer.
• • Galatasaray's Dutch import Ryan Donk played for Club Brugge from 2009 to 2013. His team-mate Christian Luyindama also has experience of Belgian football, having been a Standard Liège player for two years before joining Gala on loan in January 2019.
• Has also played in Turkey:
Matej Mitrović (Beşiktaş 2017–18)
• International team-mates:
Éder Balanta & Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
Ruud Vormer & Ryan Babel (Netherlands)
• Summer transfers
In: Odilon Kossounou (Hammarby), Amadou Sagna (Cayor Foot), David Okereke (Spezia), Simon Deli (Slavia Praha), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Federico Ricca (Málaga), Eduard Sobol (Shakhtar Donetsk, loan), Percy Tau (Brighton, loan), Éder Balanta (Basel), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, loan)
Out: Saulo Decarli (Bochum), Wesley (Aston Villa), Stefano Denswil (Bologna), Arnaut Danjuma (Bournemouth), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Benoît Poulain (Kayserispor), Luan Peres (Santos, loan)
• Club Brugge won their first three league games of the season, scoring 11 goals, but had drawn two in a row, finding the net only once, before Saturday's 2-0 win at Cercle Brugge.
• New signing David Okereke scored four goals in Club Brugge's first three league fixtures, but has not added to his total since 10 August.
• Hans Vanaken has found the net in three of Club Brugge's four UEFA Champions League fixtures so far this season.
• On 3 September Emmanuel Bonaventure signed a new contract running to 2022.
• Summer transfers
In: Ryan Babel (Fulham), Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba Aba), Adem Büyük (Yeni Malatyaspor), Şener Özbayraklı (Fenerbahçe), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse), Jean Michaël Seri (Fulham, loan), Okan Kocuk (Bursaspor), Christian Luyindama (Standard Liège, loan made permanent), Emre Mor (Celta Vigo, loan), Steven Nzonzi (Roma, loan), Florin Andone (Brighton, loan), Mario Lemina (Southampton, loan), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Taylan Antalyalı (Erzurumspor)
Out: Eren Derdiyok (Göztepe), Sinan Gümüş (Genoa), Fernando (Sevilla), Muğdat Çelik (Gazişehir), İsmail Çipe (Kayserispor, loan), Kostas Mitroglou (PSV Eindhoven, loan), Valentine Ozornwafor (Almería, loan), Mbaye Diagne (Club Brugge, loan)
• Galatasaray kicked off the new season with a 1-0 win against Akhisarspor in the Turkish Super Cup on 7 August, winning the trophy for a record 16th time.
• Gala picked up one point from their first two Süper Lig games, their worst start since 2015/16; they had won their first two league fixtures in each of the last three seasons.
• The Istanbul club had a man sent off in each of their first three league fixtures, although in the third, a 3-2 win at Kayserispor, their opponents had three players dismissed.
• Radamel Falcao marked his Galatasaray debut with the only goal in Friday's defeat of Kasımpaşa.
• Younès Belhanda suffered a broken jaw in the game against Kasımpaşa, while Mario Lemina had to be replaced 30 minutes into the match after feeling unwell.
• Ryan Babel scored twice as the Netherlands won 4-0 in Estonia in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 9 September, having provided an assist in the 4-2 victory in Germany three days earlier.
• Florin Andone got Romania's goal in a 1-2 home loss against Spain on 5 September.
• Emre Akbaba has been left out of the UEFA Champions League squad after suffering a broken leg against Rizespor on 11 May; he is expected to be sidelined until next year.