Club Brugge boss Philippe Clement knows his side will be facing one of the best teams in Europe when they host Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, but he is cautiously optimistic they can emerge from the contest with a positive result (Club Brugge 9/1, Draw 5/1 Man City 3/10).
The Belgian champions (8/1 to qualify from group) will head into the Group A clash at the Jan Breydel Stadium sitting second in the standings and a point clear of third-place City after taking four points from their opening two games.
That sequence includes an eye catching 1-1 draw with group leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Matchday One, as well as an equally impressive victory in Leipzig last time out, with Clement feeling confident that they can once again cause an upset when last season’s beaten finalists come to town.
“In Leipzig, we proved that we can do a big result, because we were good with and without the ball,” the 47-year-old told reporters.
“We think we can do the same against Manchester City, if the whole team is playing at their level. I know we won’t have 20 chances in this game, so we will have to be efficient.”
Former Belgium international Clement, who had brief spell playing in England with Coventry, is under no illusions regarding the task that awaits his side, as he believes City will represent a step up in quality compared to both PSG and Leipzig, despite the former beating the Citizens 2-0 on Matchday Two.
“We are realistic,” he continued. “For me, Manchester City and Bayern Munich are the two best teams in the world. It is great for us that we can take on this challenge. And we will do so fully.
“What is nice is that more and more people believe that we can pick up something after we have already performed well at this level.
“But again, for me this is Manchester City one step higher than PSG and RB Leipzig. Anything is possible and everyone is incredibly excited to be there going for it, but we have to be realistic.”
Club Brugge have some familiar names in their ranks, including former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Scotland international Jack Hendry, while winger Noa Lang (18/5 anytime goalscorer) has been courting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.