Club Brugge's six-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League will be under the microscope as Group A leaders Paris visit.
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Club Brugge's six-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League group stage faces a stern examination as Group A leaders Paris Saint-Germain come to Belgium.
• The Belgian side have not lost in the competition since Matchday 2 last season and came close to a famous win at 13-time champions Real Madrid last time out, but now face a first ever meeting with Paris, who have won both their games in the section without conceding.
• Club Brugge kicked off this season's group stage with a 0-0 draw at home to Galatasaray, their third successive goalless draw in the UEFA Champions League proper. They ended that sequence on Matchday 2 with a 2-2 draw at Real Madrid, Emmanuel Bonaventure's first-half double having seemingly put them on course for a memorable victory only for the home side to hit back.
• That was a sixth successive match without defeat in the group stage (W1 D5), and ended a four-game run of clean sheets.
• 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 20 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper (D6 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). Their results on Matchdays 1 and 2 have made it ten UEFA Champions League matches without defeat (W4 D6), qualifying included.
• 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 three matches in Brussels (D1).
• Club Brugge won three of their first five home games against French visitors in UEFA competition (L2), but only two of the most recent six (D2 L2). Their last win against a French club in Bruges was a 1-0 defeat of Toulouse in the UEFA Europa League group stage in December 2009.
• 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.
• On Matchday 1 Ángel Di María's two goals helped Paris to a 3-0 defeat of Real Madrid, before Mauro Icardi's first goal for the club earned a 1-0 success at Galatasaray in the French club's 100th UEFA Champions League game. It is the fifth time Paris have won their first two games in a UEFA Champions League section.
• Ligue 1 champions for the sixth time in seven years in 2018/19, and eighth time overall, this is the French side's eighth successive UEFA Champions League campaign.
• Semi-finalists in 1995, Paris have been knocked out in the round of 16 in the last three seasons – having been eliminated in the quarter-finals in the four previous campaigns.
• In 2018/19, Paris finished first in a section including eventual champions Liverpool, Napoli and Crvena zvezda, and looked set to reach the quarter-finals after a 2-0 first-leg victory at Manchester United in the round of 16, only to bow out on away goals following a 3-1 home defeat.
• Paris picked up four points on their travels in Group C last season, losing at Liverpool (2-3) and drawing at Napoli (1-1) before a 4-1 victory at Crvena zvezda on Matchday 6. They also won 2-0 at Manchester United in the round of 16 first leg but Matchday 2 was only their fifth victory in their last 11 away UEFA Champions League fixtures (D2 L4).
• The Parisian side last faced Belgian opposition in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage, beating Anderlecht away (4-0) and at home (5-0). That made it eight matches against Belgian clubs without defeat (W4 D4), since a 3-0 loss at Waterschei in the 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final second leg (2-3 aggregate).
• The French club failed to win any of their first three games away to Belgian sides (D2 L1) but have scored nine goals without conceding in winning both of their last two such contests, both against Anderlecht.
• Paris have won only six of their last 13 UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L5), although they have scored in 26 consecutive games in the competition.
Links and trivia
• Thomas Meunier was a Club Brugge player between 2011 and 2016, scoring 14 goals in 149 league appearances. He was part of the side that won the Belgian Cup in 2014/15 and the league title the following season.
• Meunier made his professional debut for third division side Virton in 2009, joining Club Brugge two years later. He had spent time in the youth ranks at Virton (2006–09) having previously been on the books at Saint-Ode (1996–2002), Givry (2002–04) and Standard Liège (2004–06).
• Philippe Clement was an assistant coach at Club Brugge when Meunier was a player from 2012 to 2016.
• International team-mates:
Simon Mignolet, Hans Vanaken, Jelle Vossen, Brandon Mechele & Thomas Meunier (Belgium)
Mbaye Diagne, Krépin Diatta & Idrissa Gueye (Senegal)
Federico Ricca & Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
• Club Brugge are still unbeaten in the league this season (W8 D2). They have scored 26 goals and conceded only three, keeping seven clean sheets. Hans Vanaken scored the only goal at Mouscron on Friday.
• Vanaken has found the net in three of Club Brugge's six UEFA Champions League fixtures so far this season. He has also struck six goals in the league.
• Federico Ricca has not played since Matchday 1 due to a knock; he was an unused substitute in a 5-0 win at Mechelen on 28 September.
• Éder Balanta suffered a hamstring injury in a 3-0 Belgian Cup win at third division side Francs Borains on 25 September.
• Percy Tau was replaced four minutes before half-time in a 4-0 defeat of Gent on 6 October having suffered a tendon injury; he returned as a substitute on Friday.
• Matej Mitrović has been sidelined since a 2-1 home win against Anderlecht on 22 September.
• Brandon Mechele made his international debut as a late substitute in Belgium's 2-0 win away to Kazakhstan on 13 October.
• Paris need three more goals to reach 200 in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final.
• Juan Bernat made his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition on Matchday 2; Thomas Meunier will reach the same mark when he next features.
• Julian Draxler has played 49 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final.
• Ángel Di María scored twice in a 4-1 win at Nice on Friday, his first goals since Matchday 1. Kylian Mbappé came on as a late substitute and promptly scored his first goal since 11 August before setting up Mauro Icardi to score for the third game running in all competitions.
• Neymar, who was suspended for the first three Ligue 1 games, scored late winning goals in his first three appearance for Paris this season, 1-0 victories at home to Strasbourg on 14 September, at Lyon on 22 September and at Bordeaux on 28 September. He was also on target in a 4-0 defeat of Angers on 5 October.
• Neymar has scored 38 goals in 42 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris, who have never lost a league game in which the Brazilian has found the net (W26 D3).
• Paris suffered a second Ligue 1 defeat of the season on 25 September, going down 2-0 at home to Reims. It was the first time in 45 league games they had failed to score, since a goalless draw at Caen on the final day of the 2017/18 season, and their first league defeat at the Parc des Princes since a 2-0 loss to Rennes on 12 May 2018. Paris, who also lost at Rennes in August, did not suffer their second league defeat in 2018/19 until the 31st round of matches.
• Thomas Tuchel's side have won their other eight league games this season, scoring 20 goals and conceding only one, at Nice on Friday.
• Paris won the French Super Cup on 3 August, defeating French Cup winners Rennes 2-1 thanks to goals from Mbappé and Di María. It was Paris's ninth win in the competition and their seventh in a row, a new record.
• Mbappé was out between out since 25 August and 28 September due to a problem with his left hamstring, and was not called up by France during the recent international break.
• Edinson Cavani (25 August, hip), Draxler (18 August, foot) and Thilo Kehrer (11 August, foot) have all been sidelined. Cavani was an unused substitute at Nice.
• On 16 October Paris announced Idrissa Gueye had suffered a hamstring injury that is expected to sideline him for "ten days".
• Neymar made his 100th Brazil appearance in a 10 October friendly against Senegal (1-1) but was replaced early on in a 1-1 draw against Nigeria three days later having suffered a thigh injury that kept him out of action in Paris's win at Nice.
• Leandro Paredes played 90 minutes as Argentina drew 2-2 in a friendly with Germany on 9 October and scored his third international goal in the 6-1 win against Ecuador four days later.
• Thomas Meunier scored as Belgium maintained their perfect record in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying with a 2-0 defeat of Kazakhstan on 13 October.
• Marco Verratti played 90 minutes of Italy's 2-0 win against Greece on 12 October as the Azzurri booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Champions League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.