Preview | In-form Cercle Brugge looking to keep Club Brugge searching in Sunday’s derby

Cercle Brugge go into the derby with Club Brugge as the side in better form over the last five games. Historically the Blue and Black half of the city have had the better of the city rivalry, but Cercle are having one of their best seasons for a long time. Both sides are unbeaten in their last five, but Cercle have won more and scored more in that time.

When comparing both coaches, it appears that Miron Muslic has a much better idea of his strongest XI compared to Scott Parker. Muslic has settled into his 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-1-2 depending on the situation in the game. Strikers Ayase Ueda and Kevin Denkey have 17 goals between them, while they will also welcome back star defender Jesper Daland. Denkey is also leading the side in terms of assists with six. In central midfield, their strength in depth is on show with the recent performances of Abu Francis. Without Leonardo Da Silva Lopes, the young Ghanaian has stepped in and performed exceptionally well.

For Club, Parker has not picked the same XI in successive games. With just one win since joining, Parker is clearly searching for the best XI. However, Noa Lang has been a bright spark throughout this struggle and could be the difference maker in the derby. Lang has the quality, which was on show against Benfica, that should be playing at a higher level than the Belgian league. Over recent matches anything good from Club has gone from the Dutch international. It will be interesting to see if Parker sticks with the side that lost 2-0 in the week, or if he again searches for a new XI to turn around their fortunes.

This Sunday we should see one of the best Brugge derbies in recent time. Club Brugge ran out 4-0 winners in the reverse fixture in September, but Cercle are playing much better football now than they were back then. Both sides will be desperate to grab the bragging rights to keep up their pursuit of play-off football.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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