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FC Brugge v Leicester City tips and betting advice - Foxes make Champions League debut

Leicester City players and staff enjoy their open-topped bus parade to celebrate winning the Premier League title (credit: Getty Images)
Leicester City enjoy another of the huge rewards earned for last season’s astonishing title-winning campaign when they play their first ever Champions League match away to Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Our best bet for this match: Club Brugge to win at 2/1 with Stan James

This is only the fourth time Leicester have qualified for Europe and the first by virtue of their league position.

In 1961-62 they got into the European Cup Winners’ Cup after losing the FA Cup Final to Tottenham Hotspur, who won the double and so competed in the European Cup instead.

Then two League Cup successes under Martin O’Neill in 1997 and 2000 yielded places in the UEFA Cup, with the Foxes exiting at the first hurdle on both occasions against Atletico Madrid and Red Star Belgrade respectively.

This time, Leicester are guaranteed six group-stage matches having only played eight games in Europe previously, their 1961-62 run having comprised a victory over Glenavon before bowing out to Atletico Madrid as they also did 36 years later.

The English champions were among the top seeds in the group-stage draw having incredibly cruised home by 10 points in the Premier League last season and besides Club Brugge, they will also play Porto and Copenhagen.

The bookmakers fancy Claudio Ranieri’s side to win in Belgium and compete with Porto for top spot in the group, making both teams long odds-on to qualify at the expense of their two rivals.

Club Brugge captain Lior Refaelov (Getty Images)
But Club Brugge, who lost in the play-off round to Manchester United last term, should not be underestimated having regained the Belgian title for the first time since 2005 and also with plenty to spare.

Michel Preud’homme’s side gained automatic entry to the group stage and although their form so far this season has been pretty ordinary, they are generally are a much more effective unit at their own Jan Breydel Stadium than they are on the road.

This summer, the main additions to their squad have been Villarreal midfielder Tomas Pina and Ajax right-back Ricardo van Rhijn, whose arrival offsets the loss of the excellent Thomas Meunier to Paris Saint-Germain.

Leicester, of course, bolstered their ranks on transfer deadline day with Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani for a club record £28million.

Being an unknown quantity in Europe, it is difficult to know how Leicester will fare but at the odds available, and with such a strong home record, we think Club Brugge represent the better value in the match result market.

Recommended bets:

Club Brugge to win @ 2/1 with Stan James
Over 2.5 goals @ 6/5 with Marathonbet


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FC Brugge v Leicester City tips and betting advice - Foxes make Champions League debut

Leicester City enjoy another of the huge rewards earned for last season’s astonishing title-winning campaign when they play their first ever Champions League match away to Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Read more »