Club Brugge will be looking to their Champions League encounter with Rapid Vienna to help turn around their season. Currently lying fifth in the league, The Belgian champions have begun their European campaign with successive defeats to Bayern Munich and Juventus respectively.
Despite their disappointing start to the season, the club are not being underestimated by tonight’s opponents. Indeed, Rapid coach Josef Hickersberger insists tonight’s Group A game at the Ernst Happel stadium will be a tight contest.
“This game will be more difficult than some might imagine,” said Hickersberger.
“Brugge have problems in their league but it will be very hard for us to create chances. We must produce a top performance to beat them and we must be very careful in defence as Brugge are dangerous on the counterattack.”
“Brugge played excellently at Bayern, especially in the first half. Bayern were not able to make many chances and that shows how strong Brugge are.”
Rapid, like Club Brugge, are without a point in Group A. and are also struggling domestically However, with the ill Roman Kienast their only absentee, Hickersberger believes the match can provide a boost for their domestic travails.
“Our Bundesliga form is not so good at the moment but I am confident ahead of the Brugge game,” said Hickersberger. “All my players will give everything to win.”
Club Brugge coach Jan Ceulemans admits that qualification from the grouo stage is unlikely.
“It would be a shock for us if we could get through the group stage. We are in a very strong section with Rapid and Bayern, and we have to be careful, but anything is possible.”
Ceulemans may start with experienced forward Gert Verheyen, who came off the bench to score a late winner against Westerlo at the weekend.
“I will decide on Tuesday if Verheyen is going to play,” added the coach.
“Nobody has a fixed place in the team.”