Real Madrid make the trip to Bruges to take on Club Brugge on Wednesday. This is the final match for both of these clubs as the group stage comes to an end.
Los Blancos have already qualified for the Round of 16 in the second spot of Group A, which means they’ll likely be resting most of the lineup. They have already excluded both Ramos and Kroos from the squad.
This match does mean a bit to Club Brugge as they must defend the third spot if they hope to play in the Europa League. They hold only a single point over Galatasaray, so a loss to Real could mean failure if the Turkish side somehow manage a win against PSG in Paris.
These two clubs met back at the Bernabéu at the beginning of October. That match finished 2-2 after Real Madrid made a comeback from 2-0 down. This isn’t a must-win for Brugge, but a win would certainly put their destiny in their own hands.
Real Madrid are still dealing with several injuries. Hazard, Marcelo, Vazquez, James and Asensio all remain out of action. As mentioned, Ramos and Kroos are being rested for this match in Belgium.
Brugge will be without defender Matej Mitrović due to injury.
There are also two suspensions for the Belgian side. Both Clinton Mata and Krepin Diatta are suspended for this match after being sent off for celebrating the late, equalizing goal against Galatasaray.
Mignolet; Kossounou, Mechele, Deli, Sobol; Vormer, Alvarez, Vanaken; Rits, Schrijvers, Okereke
Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Militão, Mendy; Modrić, Valverde, Isco; Bale, Vinicius, Jovic
Since Real have qualified, this is a good chance for Zidane to rest some of the starters like Casemiro and Carvajal ahead of a bigger weekend match against Valencia. Nacho has also returned from injury, but it may be too soon for him to start yet.
Bale is also back from injury so it will be interesting to see if Zidane incorporates him as a starter or a substitute. Either way, we will likely see Brahim and/or Rodrygo at some point as well.
This should also be the match where we finally see Jovic start, even with Benzema in the squad. Benzema needs to rest in a match that has little meaning for Real so he can be fully ready for the Mestalla on Sunday.
Club Brugge—Real Madrid 1-3
Real Madrid really have nothing to win or lose on Wednesday, it’s more about finishing the group stage strong. This is really a match where Real can rest up and recharge midweek. It’s also a good chance to see some of the youngsters come into play and show what they can do.
Brugge, however, will be fighting for their Europa League spot and will surely want a win out of this match at home. They did play Real tough the last time these clubs met.
Courtois has been stellar for a good while now, so he and the defense in front of him can keep the goals down if he is indeed starting. Brugge will play tough as the current leaders of the Belgian First Division A, so Real must be prepared if they want to finish 2019 of the Champions League strong.