Club Brugge came close to a famous victory away to Real Madrid; this time a win would secure third place in Group A.
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Having come close to a famous win at Real Madrid on Matchday 2, Club Brugge have another chance to get one over the 13-time European champions when the teams meet in Belgium on the final day of Group A, with victory certain to prolong the Belgian side's European season.
• Madrid will finish second in Group A behind Paris Saint-Germain, while Club Brugge currently occupy third place on three points, one ahead of Galatasaray, against whom they snatched a last-gasp draw on Matchday 6. Club Brugge will finish third if they beat Madrid, or if Galatasaray fail to win in Paris.
• Madrid have eight points, and had to come from 2-0 down to draw at home to Club Brugge in the second round of matches, Sergio Ramos (55) and Casemiro (85) salvaging a point after Emmanuel Bonaventure's first-half double had stunned the Santiago Bernabéu.
• Club Brugge came out on top in the sides' only contests before this season, in the 1976/77 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round. After a goalless first leg in Spain, a match that was played in Malaga, the Belgian side went through thanks to a 2-0 home success.
• After being held 0-0 at home by Galatasaray on Matchday 1, their third successive goalless draw in the UEFA Champions League proper, Club Brugge ended that sequence with the 2-2 draw in Madrid. Their six-match unbeaten run in the group stage was emphatically ended by a 5-0 loss against Paris in Bruges on Matchday 3 – the club's heaviest at home in UEFA competition.
• Club Brugge then lost 1-0 in Paris, and looked set for a third successive Group A defeat when they trailed 1-0 at Galatasaray going into the final stages, but a goal two minutes into added time from Krépin Diatta snatched a draw, the visitors holding on despite losing Diatta and Clinton Mata to second yellow cards in the aftermath of the goal.
• Club Brugge have therefore failed to score in three of their five Group A games, and five of their last seven matches in the UEFA Champions League proper.
• 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 – 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 23 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper (D7 L13).
• 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). Their results on Matchdays 1 and 2 made it ten UEFA Champions League games without defeat (W4 D6), qualifying included, before the home loss to Paris.
• 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 Warszawa in November 2015. They have since won two of their last four European matches in Bruges (D1 L1), the defeat by Paris ending a six-match unbeaten home run.
• Last season's 0-0 draw against Atlético made Club Brugge's home record against Spanish visitors W5 D3 L4; they have won only one of the last eight (D3 L4), a 1-0 defeat of Valencia in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg (1-3 aggregate). That is also their last victory against a Spanish club, home or away; their record since is D2 L4.
• 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.
• Runners-up to Liverpool in 1978, Club Brugge remain the only team from Belgium to have reached a European Cup final.
• Having been beaten 3-0 in Paris in their opening fixture before drawing with Club Brugge, Madrid then won 1-0 away to Galatasaray and 6-0 at home against the Turkish club, their biggest home win in the UEFA Champions League since December 2015. They let slip a two-goal lead in the final ten minutes to draw 2-2 at home to Paris in their most recent fixture, confirming themselves in second place behind the French club.
• The Spanish giants have lost three of their last eight UEFA Champions League matches – conceding three or more goals in each of those defeats, and 15 in that eight-game sequence.
• Last season Madrid finished first in their section ahead of Roma, Viktoria Plzeň and CSKA Moskva, picking up 12 points from their six matches. A team then coached by Santiago Solari won 2-1 at Ajax in the round of 16 first leg, but bowed out 5-3 on aggregate after a 4-1 home defeat.
• Last season was the first since 2009/10 in which Madrid had failed to reach the semi-finals or better. This is the 13-time champions' 50th European Cup campaign, more than any other side.
• This is the third time in four seasons Madrid have finished second in their group.
• Madrid won three of their four European away matches last season and have triumphed in 15 of their last 24, losing just five.
• Rodrygo's hat-trick against Galatasaray on Matchday 4 was the 12th scored by a Real Madrid player in the competition, one fewer than record holders Barcelona. He is only the fifth Madrid player to achieve the feat – after Raúl González, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo (7) and Karim Benzema (2) – and, at 18 years 301 days, the second-youngest UEFA Champions League hat-trick scorer after Raúl, who was aged 18 years 113 days when he scored his solitary treble against Ferencváros in 1995/96.
• This is Madrid's first trip to Belgium since a 1-1 draw at Genk in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. A 2-0 win at Anderlecht in October 2001 is their only away win against a Belgian side in their last eight games (D1 L6), although they are unbeaten in five matches (W3 D2) against Belgian clubs, home and away.
• Third in Spain in 2018/19, this is Madrid's 24th UEFA Champions League campaign – a joint record along with Barcelona. They have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 24 seasons, also a competition best.
Links and trivia
• International team-mates:
Simon Mignolet, Brandon Mechele, Hans Vanaken & Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard (Belgium)
• Has played in Belgium:
Thibaut Courtois (Genk 1999–2011)
• Courtois spent only one season as Genk's No1, keeping 14 clean sheets in their 2010/11 Belgian championship success.
• Hazard has never played for a Belgian club, but has five appearances against them in UEFA competition, including Madrid's 2-2 draw with Club Brugge this season. He scored in LOSC Lille's 4-2 second-leg win against Genk in the UEFA Europa League play-offs in August 2009, having also featured in the first leg, and appeared twice against Gent in the group stage of the same competition the following season.
• Has played in Spain:
Federico Ricca (Málaga 2016–19)
• The 5-0 loss to Paris on Matchday 3 is Club Brugge's only home defeat of the season (W8 D4); they have won their last three home matches.
• Club Brugge have won 13 of their 17 league games this season (D3 L1); their 13-match unbeaten start to the Belgian league season (W10 D3) was ended by a 2-1 defeat at Antwerp on 10 November. They came from behind to win 2-1 at Sint-Truiden on Saturday, Éder Balanta and Federico Ricca scoring their first goals for the club.
• Club Brugge have scored 38 league goals in 2019/20 and conceded only seven, keeping 11 clean sheets; the defeat at Antwerp is the only time they have let in more than one in a league game this season.
• Hans Vanaken has found the net in three of Club Brugge's nine UEFA Champions League fixtures so far this season, all in the qualifying phase. He has also struck nine times in the league, getting the only goal in a home win against Mouscron on 30 November.
• On 4 December Club Brugge won 4-2 on penalties at Oostende in the last 16 of the Belgian Cup, going through after a 1-1 draw.
• Matej Mitrović has not played since 2 November due to an ankle injury.
• Eden Hazard's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be his 50th.
• Rodrygo is the youngest scorer in this season's UEFA Champions League, having been 18 years 301 days when he scored his Matchday 4 hat-trick against Galatasaray.
• Madrid have lost just one of their last 15 games in all competitions (W10 D4); they were 2-0 winners at home to Espanyol on Saturday, becoming the first team to reach 1,700 Liga victories.
• The 1-0 loss at Mallorca on 19 October is Madrid's sole defeat in this season's Liga (W10 D4).
• Madrid have scored two or more goals in each of their last six matches, and have found the net 25 times in their last nine games.
• Karim Benzema has scored nine goals in his last eight games, including one against Espanyol.
• Dani Carvajal scored his first Madrid goal since 19 August 2018 in a 2-1 victory against Alavés on 30 November.
• Knee injuries mean Nacho and James Rodríguez have not played since Matchday 2 and 3 respectively.
• Hazard picked up an ankle injury on Matchday 5 and has not played since.
• Marco Asensio is a long-term absentee having ruptured knee ligaments in a pre-season friendly against Arsenal on 24 July.