Chance conversion letting Club Brugge down

On paper, Club Brugge have on of the best attacking sides in the Belgian Pro League. However, they have only managed to pick up 19 points from their opening games and sit in seventh place, outside of the top six. Should Club finish the regular season in this position, they would be unable to battle for the title.

This would be unacceptable for a club the size of Club Brugge, one that has ambitions of constantly winning silverware domestically and pushing the boundaries in continental football. After a lackluster 2022/2023, the side turned to former Celtic head coach Ronny Deila, fresh off a season with Standard Liege that had defied pre-season predictions.

Yet while there were questions over the defensive make up of the squad that have remained unanswered, eyes are now turning to the forward line that was expected to compensate for the lack of quality at the back. While the side are averaging two goals a game in the league, these numbers are somewhat skewed by two big early seasons win (5-0 at Eupen and 7-1 at home to RWDM). Since that win over RWDM, the side have only scored more than one goal in two of their nine league games.

Yet its not like they have suddenly stopped creating chances. They still lead the league in big chances created according to FotMob with 30, but they are also second when it comes to big chances missed with 25. Thiago Rodrigues appears to be the main culprit, with eight big chances missed, only second to Wilfried Kanga of Standard Liege. The striker, signed in the summer to propel Club Brugge to a title challenge, has scored four goals in 13 league games this season. He is on a prolonged goal drought in the league, having not scored for seven matches. As a result, Deila has turned to Ferran Jutglà. The 24-year-old ex Barcelona forward has two goals in nine games this season, although he is only starting to get back into the side after a period on the sidelines with an injury. Last season he scored 13 goals in 34 matches, something the side wanted to improve upon this season.

Yet they are still overachieving on xG with 26 goals int he league from an xG of 23.5. This is in part thanks to the brilliance of Andreas Skov Olsen. The Danish midfielder, who is on the radar of both Tottenham and Arsenal, has scored seven goals from an xG of 4.26. Clearly, the side cannot rely on Skov Olsen to keep on overachieving if they are to win games.

The side have a home tie with Lugano on Thursday night before they face Cercle Brugge in the derby. This is probably the best time to face their city rivals, who have been out-performing them this season. However, the green and black half of Brugge are missing a number of key players due to injury.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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