Premier League champions Leicester City will make their Champions League debut when they travel to Belgium to take on Club Brugge on Wednesday night.
Claudio Ranieri’s side were the unlikely Premier League champions when they secured the title against all the odds last season. As a result, the Foxes will host Champions League football for the first time in the club’s history.
Leicester have been joined by Club Brugge, FC Copenhagen and FC Porto in Group G, and although the group looks reasonable, the Foxes will need to be at their best if they are to make it to the knockout stages of the competition.
After a dream campaign in 2015/16, the Foxes have started the 2016/17 season slowly. A late Zlatan Ibrahimovic header meant they lost out on winning the FA Community Shield, while defeats to Hull City and Liverpool have followed in the English top-flight.
However, a win over Swansea City and a draw with Arsenal at the King Power Stadium showed glimpses of the superb football that Foxes fans saw in their title-winning term.
Club Brugge go into the fixture without a win in precisely a month – when they defeated Lokeren in the Belgian Pro League.
Michael Preud’homme’s side have been struggling to pick up points of late, as Brugge have accumulated just one of the last nine points on offer in their domestic league.
With that poor run of form, England international Jamie Vardy will be confident of causing damage against a shaky defence.
Reports suggest that Club Brugge have struggled to sell tickets for the opening group stage clash, and so the Jan Breydel Stadium may not be as daunting as Leicester players first feared.
Club-record signing Islam Slimani could make his Foxes debut following his reported £29m move from Sporting Lisbon on transfer deadline day. The Algerian international, should he start, would partner Vardy in attack.
Full-back Danny Simpson travelled with the Leicester City squad, despite coming off with a hamstring injury in the 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
However, boss Ranieri has stated that he may choose to leave Simpson out of his starting XI as he fears that playing the former Newcastle United defender may cause a recurrence of the hamstring problem.
Club Brugge striker Jose Izquierdo is fit after struggling with a quad strain.
However, Wesley is out with ankle ligament damage and Lior Refaelov is unlikely to feature after groin surgery.
League Positions: Club Brugge – 10th (7 pts); Leicester City – 16th (4 pts)
Last Meeting: This will be the first competitive meeting between Club Brugge and Leicester City
Form: Club Brugge – WLWLDL; Leicester City – LLLDWL
Key Men: Club Brugge – Abdoulay Diaby; Leicester City – Jamie Vardy
Shoot Says: Club Brugge 1-2 Leicester City