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Midtjylland v Club Brugge background

The stage is set for a straight battle for a round of 32 place when Midtjylland meet Club Brugge, though a draw could spell elimination for both clubs.

Midtjylland players celebrate their 3-1 win in Bruges
Midtjylland players celebrate their 3-1 win in Bruges ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Midtjylland will look to return to winning ways in UEFA Europa League Group D, in what looks like a straight battle with Club Brugge KV for a round of 32 place.

Midtjylland will finish second with a victory, or with a draw should Legia Warszawa fail to win away to SSC Napoli.

• Club Brugge will finish second with a win.

• Both clubs will go out if they draw and Legia win.

Previous meetings
Midtjylland beat Club Brugge 3-1 in Belgium when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.

• Midtjylland conceded three goals home and away as they lost out to RSC Anderlecht in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup second round – their only previous tie against a Belgian club.

• Club Brugge's 14 games against Danish teams have ended W7 D3 L4 (W4 D1 L1 in Denmark). Those fixtures include four in last season's UEFA Europa League (W3 D1), where they got the better of FC København in the group stage and then eliminated Aalborg BK in the round of 16.

Form guide
• Midtjylland are on a three-game losing streak in Group D, during which they have conceded ten goals.

• Club Brugge have not scored more than once in any of their Group D games.

• This is Midtjylland's first UEFA group stage campaign.

• Club Brugge have featured at this stage of the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League eight times previously, qualifying on three occasions and missing out on five others. They are the most experienced UEFA Europa League group stage campaigners in this season's field.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Bruges to Herning is around 670km.

• Midtjylland defender Jim Larsen was on the books at Club Brugge from 2012 to 2014; team-mate Francis Dickoh was with their city rivals Cercle Brugge KSV in 2012/13.

• Club Brugge's Timmy Simons turns 39 the day after the Midtjylland game. He has made 122 UEFA club competition appearances, more than any other outfield player in this season's group stage.

• Club Brugge's Brazilian midfielder Claudemir was in Denmark from 2010 to 2015 with København,. He featured in the FCK side that drew 1-1 away and lost 4-0 at home to Club Brugge in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Midtjylland are one of ten sides in this season's group stage that qualified for Europe as domestic champions, along with KF Skenderbëu (Albania), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), FC Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland), Molde FK (Norway) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).

• Midtjylland (literally: central Jutland) were formed in 1999 with the merger of Ikast fS and Herning Fremad BK.

The coaches
• Midtjylland boss Jess Thorup played in Germany and Austria as a forward. He made his name as a coach at Esbjerg fB, where he won a Danish Cup before taking Denmark to the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals. Midtjylland hired him this summer.

• A great goalkeeper in his time, Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme has carved out a fine career as a coach, winning titles in Belgium (with R. Standard de Liège) and Saudi Arabia (Al-Shabab). Club Brugge coach since 2013, he led them to Belgian Cup success last season.