Posted in Player Profile

Player Profile: Eric Ocansey

I scoured through the fixtures this week and I felt this club needed a result more than any. Eupen always need a result to be fair and at one point, I felt Eric Ocansey would follow Henry Onyekuru to bigger and better things. Obviously he still could, but for now he’ll need to focus his energy into the club who gave him that break in European football.

Equally effective on each wing, he mainly plays out on the right wing. With his pace and quality, as well as an eye for goal, he can worry many defenders with his pace and effort. Eupen have a fantastic mix of youth and experience up front with Ocansey, Leye, Garcia and Afif.

The thing is, Eupen have gone from goals galore, scoring and conceding, to tightening up at both ends. I’ve actually predicted a 2-1 win for the Pandas tomorrow because performances have looked encouraging under Claude Makélélé and Sint-Truiden look like they’ve slowed down recently.

The Ghanaian will look to add to his 5 league goals and 2 assists this season. He may feel he could’ve done better so far, not so much goals wise but assist wise. If he can get a yard and cross he’d have a good chance of Mbaye Leye getting his head on it.

With the score being 4-4 last time these two met, I can’t see that happening again. The goals have dried up for both, but on the plus side, Eupen seem to have a decent record at the Kehrweg against De Kanaries. At the end of the day, stubbornness is key to Eupen surviving. Every club around them picks up points each week, jostling to stay 15th or above, and that 5 point gap stays constant each week with Kortrijk, Mechelen, or this time Lokeren ending up there with the same 5 point gap.

Makélélé has his vision on football and plenty of coaches to takes his ideology from, as well as his own. His gone from one extreme to the other under the greatest coaches. From Del Bosque to Mourinho. Ocansey needs to soak up every bit of information he can, for his club future and international future.

If he can aim to whip a good ball in then he’ll be key to any club. It’s tough playing out wide because of the physical demands, but I was told if you get the ball across, then it’s for the strikers to get into the box. I know I shouldn’t be trying to ‘sell him’ but if he does progress, he needs to look at his former teammate in Onyekuru and not Acolatse or Ganvoula who just haven’t kicked on.

But for tomorrow, a good performance and a win above all will be priority.

Posted in Matches in Brief

Has it Thawed Yet?

The weather here has decided to stay freezing cold, as expected, but the sun is out and the snow has gone. I hate snow now that I’m getting older, and can drive, but when it’s cancelling the football, I hate it even more. What’s lucky for me is that I was genuinely tempted to try and go to Club Brugge vs Charleroi on Wednesday, until I realised it was West Ham vs Arsenal.

But back to Pro League football. Another eight huge matches where the consequences could be big for every club. Of course I don’t know everyone’s targets and some will still be exceeding what they originally targeted back in July. The only problem is if those clubs begin to ‘switch off’ now, even with plenty of time left in the season.

Without being too harsh, I have to pick on Mouscron who continuously let themselves down after their superb early season performances. They host Oostende who’ll be smarting after failing in the Croky Cup this week and will look to bounce back after their mini blip in form. And moving on, Standard host Gent where both had mixed fortunes in the cup this week. Les Rouches progressed whereas De Buffalos were hammered at Kortrijk. The thing is, I feel Gent’s superiority will shine here, even at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.

These are all leading onto another very nicely as Kortrijk welcome Mechelen. De Kakkers had a week off this week from the Cup whereas Kortrijk looked fantastic. Another 4 at home for Kortrijk? I doubt it, but I do feel a home win is on the cards here for De Kerels. Eupen face STVV in a match where I really believe Claude Makélélé will get his first win. Sint-Truiden, like Mouscron, seem to have hit the buffers, where Eupen look progressively better. The reverse fixture saw the end for Jordi Condom, but I’m sure the Frenchman in charge of the Pandas will have more chances beyond tomorrow.

Lastly on Saturday is a derby where Lokeren picked up their first league win this season. However, I feel Beveren will emerge the victors as they’re plodding along nicely. When you have Lokeren sitting second bottom, another Saturday match for these 2 where they’ve both been average, as I stated this week on a Saturday.

Sunday sees the top 3 play, with one humongous offering. Club Brugge, who’ll be a bit fresher than Anderlecht hoped, in a huge match that could see how far Anderlecht have fallen this season, after last weeks defeat to Charleroi. I honestly can only see a Brugge win. Oozing with confidence with an outstanding attack. I don’t think Les Mauves stand a chance.

Charleroi vs Genk and Zulte Waregem vs Antwerp see us out. I’ve seen many predict a Genk win somehow. Les Zébres look fantastic. The only way I feel Genk will win is if Charleroi don’t turn up. The inevitable sacking of Stuivenberg saw how poor Genk have been and with many saying it could’ve been player power, then shame on those players. Waregem would finally love a league win. Essevee have won 1 match since the end of September. Appalling really, although I do blame Europa League football. But Antwerp have levelled slightly and will hope for anything positive in my opinion. The only other problem for Waregem is that they’ve only gained one point from the Sunday 7pm matches.

With one real major stand out fixture, with 2 other very good offerings on Sunday and the Lokeren-Beveren derby, actually, now I’ve typed this, this weekend looks great. Not forgetting Standard-Gent too! Underestimated league with a plethora of quality and stand out fixtures, no doubt the predictably unpredictable could well occur again.

Posted in Uncategorized

Timing is Everything

As we all know in Belgium, there’s the same designated times each weekend for the matches that week. There’s the Friday night, early Saturday evening, 2 Saturday night with a later Saturday night, then the 3 staggered throughout the day on Sunday. I thought as a talking point, although no doubt brought up in Belgium, I’d see how teams actually performed on those days and who played on which days. Also as you’ll see, I’m basing this on English time!

I’ll immediately start with Zulte Waregem who hasn’t won a single point on the 7pm Sunday night fixture at all, until last weekend. Six matches and 1 point on the Sunday late kick off. People in England make a big deal on how Europa League football can disrupt your season. Goes to show the same happens in Belgium. Anderlecht on the other hand have never had the last match of a weekend and get the early evening fixture. Not too bad in performance, but they’ve never lost on a Friday or Saturday compared to a Sunday.

You can kind of see who the ‘unfashionable’ sides are in a way because Sint-Truiden, Beveren, Lokeren and Eupen usually kick off at 7pm on Saturdays. They’ve all played 8 times or more at that time throughout the season, and to be honest, it hasn’t been kind to any of them. No day is particularly good for Lokeren or Eupen, with STVV gaining more points on a Sunday per match compared to Saturday. Also, Beveren hadn’t played a Friday match until this Friday night against Standard Liège.

And leading into Liège, they only play on Fridays or Sundays. Les Rouches have only played one Saturday match all season, and that was 2 weeks ago which was a draw. Unbelievable really. Funny how teams seem to only play certain days. Same applies to Club Brugge who have played on a Sunday 13 times and have just dropped 4 points on those days.

Saturday is a good day for Charleroi, and a Friday for that matter, either winning or drawing on those days. However, Genk hate Saturdays, winning 1 in 11 on a Saturday, with just one Friday match too, losing that. As you go down the league on a Friday, there is a contrast of wins at the top, to losses at the bottom. One win out of the eight clubs in the bottom half who have played on a Friday, with Eupen not gracing a Friday so far.

What I have noticed is that, like most European leagues, that Sunday’s are ‘Box Office’ as in the top half of the table is littered with Sunday matches. Adding to this, I’m a firm believer kick off times aid in where a title will end up come May. Club Brugge either add pressure to those around them with an early Sunday kick off, or, they already know what to do by seeing how Charleroi had already performed. You can’t say the same with the bottom clubs as they seem to always kick off at the same time.

I regretted starting the research for this post after match day 3, but I’m genuinely fascinated how it’s shown when teams are playing at what times on which day. The only team I’m not surprised at is Zulte Waregem because of Europe, but when the top 8 and bottom 8 seem to play on certain days, you kind of know when and what time they’ll play if your a fan, unless you’re playing Standard or Brugge, which will be either a Friday or Sunday respectively.

To cap everyone else off out of respect, Gent are mixed to be fair, Mouscron enjoy the 7 o’clock kick off on either day, Oostende are as scatty on either day, Mechelen hate Fridays and don’t like Sundays, Kortrijk love a Saturday 7pm kick off slot, gaining every win at that time this season. And that’s that!

Posted in Matches in Brief

Let it Snow ❄️

Poorest title so far. Definitely up there. Anyway, it did snow across Europe, even in the UK. One of the most Northern European places yet it rarely snows here. Anyway, some teams had fun in this weather, and some froze. More reason for why I enjoy the JPL week in week out.

A team who did freeze, although not much snow was seen were Standard on Friday night. Set pieces and poor defending their undoing. Nobody can either say ‘well their manager was in the stand’ blah blah blah because it was his theatrics that made him sit up there.

More teams where it all went horrendously wrong were Oostende, Anderlecht and Mouscron. All disappointing in results as Mouscron fail again, Anderlecht actually became hot heads in the snow, seeing 2 red cards in a disastrous defeat, and Oostende lost a game I really felt they’d just win. No offence to Mechelen but Oostende are always improving and I couldn’t see an away win.

Antwerp turned their form around, no matter how brief, with a vital win and major to the aforementioned Mechelen and of Charleroi who made it look all to easy in their finishing. Charleroi looked like they’re there to stay going into the playoffs next year. You can’t talk badly of Lokeren and Kortrijk who has tough matches against possibly the 2 form teams in Belgium right now as Gent are clicking nicely and Brugge were, well…being Brugge.

However, the one BIG loser was unfortunately Albert Stuivenberg. I said 9 days ago his days were numbered because of the inconsistency and poor performances. I guess the yard stick for any manager is if you can’t beat Eupen…you’re out! Club Brugge drew last week with the Pandas but Leko has other displays to help him out…

Waregem drew as well this weekend away at Sint-Truiden. On paper, a good result. STVV didn’t play Thursday, it was at the Stayen and if you look at the table, there was 5 places between them before kick off. A Bezus red card which I don’t know what for couldn’t help Essevee who were even leading at that point in a 1-1 draw in Limburg.

So a chilling week wrapped up with some quality, some snow, fine performances as well as some poor ones. Next week will be a vital week as we edge closer towards the winter break and I’ll leave you by saying what I tweeted yesterday. If you go by how many days there have been since Antwerp vs Anderlecht on the first day of the season, to last nights STVV vs Zulte Waregem match, a manager is sacked every 15 days in Belgium. With yesterday being the 10th December, who will Father Christmas put a lump of coal in somebody’s stocking on Christmas Day?

Posted in Uncategorized

Football, Life and Love

Before I begin, this post is about football (of course) but not simply, solely about Belgian football. I had a brief discussion the other day with a work colleague about football, and she said she’d fallen out of love with the game ever so slightly. She doesn’t keep up to date with it anymore. She’s 18 and unfortunately a Chelsea fan.

Later on I spoke about Belgian football and how it isn’t as blasé. We spoke about Championship football and I spoke about how football really is the greatest. I have only dipped in my enthusiasm of football since becoming a ‘family man’ because of life getting in the way. I was obsessed with football, well still am, but not to the extent of when I was living at home. I’d surround myself with football constantly. It is a life of its own. A dream. A bubble.

I said to the young woman that football is so great, how comes every week and sometimes everyday, how can fans throw money at their team and give up their time and energy for something they have no say in. No way of helping towards the outcome of what you always want. Just a win. They say it’s ‘just a sport’ but it really just isn’t.

I am on my way to Southampton to watch my team try and win. I say try because times change and the team I love aren’t even a shadow of what they once were. I just watched a recent film too on the coach about a particular success 28 years ago and I became a blubbering mess on a coach full of people I don’t really like, mainly because I am a hate filled judgemental person in all honesty.

What upset me is the lack of passion you see in football now. Well, compared to before. The fans are either hardcore or Jonny come lately’s who don’t have a clue, but enjoy the ride. I usually make the comparison but on a lesser scale between English and Belgian football because the infrastructure is far superior here. Even bigger proof is Euro 2020 who have taken matches off of Brussels and passed them to Wembley.

Anyway, I’ll spit it out. Football in England has gotten to the stage where arrogance has become normal and fans are customers (I must’ve said that before) and players don’t care about the fans in my opinion. Not all players of course, but a good 95% don’t care I reckon. But in Belgium it can hopefully be different. Hopefully it won’t be just a stepping stone and appreciate the love fans give you. From now on, I will ask players who I Interview, if I ever get another, if they really understand how loved and appreciated they really are? Go up to the fans at the end instead of just waving. Be humble. Be happy. If I were a footballer, and I was pretty close, I wonder how I’d have been and would I have been different?

Some fans can be scum, and I see it regularly at away games, but they are humans who love you and the club you play for and probably in Belgium, where the TV rights are nothing compared to England, the fans probably contribute to wages.

This has probably come across as a rant when it doesn’t mean to be, but interaction builds up love and harmony. I will always love certain players simply because they took time for a picture or an autograph.

Be remembered and not forgotten

Posted in Player Profile

Player Profile: Thomas Kaminski

This season I have tried to consistently write a Player Profile every week. I usually do, missing 1…or 2. Amongst these I have written about 2 goalkeepers in massive matches for their clubs (Sinan Bolat and Davino Verhulst) and they both kept clean sheets, to my surprise anyway! And now I am hoping to make it a hat trick?

Speaking of consistency, here is a goalkeeper who has had to mature quickly in my eyes in that he has had to be a leader within a slightly struggling side, who now seem to have had an upturn in results and in front of goal. Thomas Kaminski has been outstanding in the matches I’ve managed to watch this season, constantly being the stand out performer.

The 25 year old has proved how vital he is to Kortrijk. Constantly number 1 on the team sheet, for me he is in the top 3 or 5 goalkeepers in the league. More top 3 actually! Not blaming the defence, but if there wasn’t such a barrage of efforts raining down on him on some occasions, he may have kept more clean sheets. Just two in the league this season, although I don’t think you can judge him fairly just by that if I’m honest.

I think at Anderlecht maybe they made a rash decision moving him on. Loan spells abroad, successful or not, could’ve only helped mentally, dealing with different languages, climates and behaviour of different nations. Going by what Gary Martin told me last season, most lower Belgian clubs tend to give shorter length of contracts because of the financial restraints on clubs, but with plenty of time left on the big man’s deal tells you his worth to the club. I honestly feel Thomas won’t be at the Guldensporen for much longer unfortunately for Kortrijk fans.

De Kerels are on an upturn of form since Glen De Boeck arrived and have definitely surprised me. You can’t rule them out now in every match. Gent however have been superb since they had a managerial change of their own. Kaminski will have his work cut out against the likes of Moses Simon and Yuya Kubo at the Ghelamco Arena, with a strong defensive performance, which will also have to be replicated in the Croky Cup midweek too.

Moving outside of tomorrow and the Pro League altogether, still at a tender age for a goalkeeper, he has plenty of time, although he already has plenty of experience. I wonder which country he may pick if they both clamber at the same time to call him up. Both Belgium and Poland have world class goalkeepers, but to get him nailed down at either could be a race to get Kaminski capped soon. As I stated, if a move does happen, especially with 3 weeks til the window opens, the standard of club will help if a bigger club come calling?

Posted in Matches in Brief

Match Day 18 Already!

Without sounding too much like a broken record, there are some clubs we all fell in love with for the first…I don’t know…3-4 months, even if you didn’t support them. I’m England we all love an underdog story, but I guess that ripples around to every nation, and I bet because of the start that many had this season, the excitement factor went up a couple of notches, believing your club could do more than you thought.

I’ll give you a list. Beveren, Sint-Truiden, Mouscron and Antwerp. In my opinion I felt they’d all be scrapping for survival already. Yet they’ve exceeded my expectations, not that my opinion counts for anything. But, as I have said many times, the cream always rises to the top, and with the finances some clubs have over others in the league, rather than in world football, things usually tend to go back to ‘normality’.

With the four clubs I’ve just mentioned, their form is beginning to dwindle. Looking at the 4 clubs mentioned there, starting with Beveren they have 2 wins in their last 6, with 4 losses. If I only went to 5 matches they would’ve had 1 win in five! Antwerp. One win in six. Lost only one however but 7 points from a possible 24 on offer…Next theres Sint-Truiden who in some ways have a similar record to Antwerp. One win in six losing 2 but only 6 points gained! I’ve left Mouscron til last on purpose. No win in six! In fact, no win in 9 and have only gained 4 points in that awful run of form. What’s ironic is that the above teams have played Mouscron in this run, and Antwerp have them again this weekend.

Beveren have Standard Liège tonight in a match where I honestly can’t call. Les Rouches are certainly getting better but will be without Sa Pinto in the dugout rolling around (I think his ban starts tonight). And STVV host Zulte Waregem who for me are a bit like the Everton of the Pro League. Such hope in pre season. Out of Europe but ending on a high and I say every week will be where their season restarts again. Sint-Truiden are good at home though so it is tricky for Essevee.

I’ll try and rattle through the rest. Let’s look at the improving sides. Anderlecht crashed out of Europe against Celtic and can focus on catching Club Brugge this season. But first they have to catch Charleroi, who travel to Brussels this Sunday. Perfect weekend for Brugge last week in that nobody gained ground on them and their nearest rivals in the league will take points from each other. The lucky thing for Brugge is that they can put pressure on, kicking off 3 and a half hours earlier on the day versus Lokeren, who have had a tough fortnight of fixtures.

Next, Gent host Kortrijk who are currently averaging nearly 4 goals a game at home, but I can’t see an away win, or draw if I’m honest. I’m loving what Vanderhaeghe is doing at the Ghelamco, quietly going about his business and the players are responding superbly. In his 8 matches he has already gained more points than 4 other Pro League clubs, and has as many as his old club Oostende and Zulte Waregem. Just feel Thomas Kaminski will have a busy night tomorrow.

Speaking of De Kustboys, they welcome Mechelen who are improving, with one defeat in their last four. But that doesn’t compare to their hosts who have been improving week by week since late September. Can’t help but go for a home win because of how much better Oostende are performing right now. Lastly, Genk face Eupen and in my predictions, I’ve gone for an away win. Unbelievable right, but Eupen aren’t as gung ho anymore under Makélélé and Genk stink. After the raft of sackings I thought nobody else would be in trouble for a while, but I honestly think Albert Stuivenberg’s days are numbered with such a poor season so far. I wonder what a possible defeat will do for him tomorrow evening…?

Posted in Transfers

Should We Be Worried?

Bit over the top from me there. I’ve been so tired this week that I’ve not written a post on here since Monday. The point of my title is that we all know the Pro League is a selling league because of the individual quality within it. But when players are signed by leagues of similar stature it could be a worry.

With Hassane Bandé moving to Ajax they’re stock piling youngsters in case what has happened to Mechelen happens to them. Even though there are scouts everywhere (this is regarding Ajax) because they never got into Europe their top youngsters were maybe safe for a season without the test of European football, and only had to deal with the Eredivisie. With that quick business done too, why didn’t Anderlecht or Club Brugge move quicker?

Bandé is literally playing under their noses and if they did bid, then fair enough. If they’re waiting for some reason then another quality youngster will be leaving the league. We’re lucky Onyekuru has been loaned back for a season, although getting a game at Everton seems unlikely next season under Alladyce.

But unlike last season, there are youngsters playing regularly in the Pro League. I did an u21 team last season and honestly scraped the barrel, with the 2 best players leaving the league. This season there’s not only more, but more quality too. You have Wesley, Dion Cools and Dennis Bonaventure at Club Brugge alone. Elsewhere you have Siebe Schrijvers, Samuel Kalu, Aaron Leya Iseka and others who may be snapped up too!

Like I’ve said, you have to accept it, which many do, but for me I thought Bandé would have at least another season at Mechelen. I know bigger clubs don’t wait but he is so raw, I thought they’d double check instead of developing the player at their club. I guess my main concern is that he has gone Holland. Not France, or Spain, or Germany or even England. It is a sideways step when regarding the league.

If you go by how Holland compared to Belgium in Europe, then Belgium won. Zulte Waregem defeating Vitesse proved that. If you did Anderlecht vs Feyenoord in the Champions League, I believe Les Mauves would’ve come out on top. Club Brugge vs Ajax or PSV it’d be tougher to call. Obviously Bandé is at Mechelen who aren’t even mentioned here, and I’d rather play for Ajax instead of say…Stuttgart or Montpellier. But I guess he feels this is for his natural progression.

I know this is mainly focusing on one player and one transfer, but is this a sign of things to come in January! Hopefully not, but the cliche is that nothing surprises you in football anymore.

Posted in Matches in Brief

Who Were the Big Winners?

Match day 17 came and went this weekend as the festive season nears ever closer, but who were the big winners and losers? To be honest, I’d say there were more losers than winners as I predicted 5 draws this weekend, and I was close! And not in some games that did draw, if that makes sense…

The top 2 had relatively easy matches on Friday and yesterday. Charleroi were held at home by an ever improving Oostende with 2 fine goals in the match, and Club Brugge were held away at bottom club Eupen, although things may have been a lot worse with 65 minutes on the clock and Brugge being 2-0 down! I can’t help but have sympathy for Claude Makélélé as Ruud Vormer struck the penalty into the top corner, stopping the Frenchman from claiming his first win!

The other draws seemed more predictable in my opinion as I got the results right on Twitter. Mouscron- Sint Truiden has draw written all over it as both are out of form and STVV are clinging onto their top 6 place right now. Mouscron haven’t won since the 23rd September which is more than a worry. Not saying Rednic will go, but that is relegation form, picking up 4 points in just over 2 months!

The other tie involved Standard and Antwerp. Even though Liège knocked Anderlecht out of the cup on Wednesday, I still felt they’d wouldn’t win yesterday. Not because Antwerp are pretty decent, but because Standard still aren’t up to scratch, despite their 7th places position right now. Antwerp have also been out of sorts too, but even though they’ve been in a steady decline regarding results, they’re still stubborn enough to dig in and claim a point at a tough place to go!

Onto the winners and losers. Anderlecht battled away at Lokeren Saturday evening to claim a victory. Lokeren can perform well against the bigger clubs, which makes me wonder why they’re in their position. They should be able to turn it on against anyone, but narrowly losing to Les Mauves twice this season shows they can also battle and fight, even in defeat. The other top 6 winner was Gent who again performed well enough to snatch victory at the swimming baths, better known as the Regenboogstadion.

Sixteen points gained by Vanderhaeghe since coming in at Gent, he hasn’t just steadied the ship, but he is sailing up the table. Waregem seem to be in a negative spiral. Performance may be of a decent standard but they just can’t seem to turn losses into draws and draws into victories. Eleventh in the table, out of Europe and the cup. There maybe an upturn fairly soon!

Lastly, the superb Kortrijk demolished Beveren 4-1, and Mechelen nearly threw away a 3 goal lead at home to Genk. Tale of 2 managers for me. De Boeck has been nothing but inspiring whereas Stuivenberg looks stale. Big wins for De Kerels and De Kakkers I’m their bid to climb the table. Beveren have, like many, looked out of sorts really, whereas Genk have shown their unbelievable inconsistency, as they defeated Mechelen midweek, albeit via penalties, but lost Saturday.

Winners include Club Brugge with their cushion, Anderlecht gaining ground, Gent, Kortrijk and Mechelen. Losers, for me, were Charleroi by not closing the gap, Beveren, Zulte Waregem and Eupen as those above pull away!

Posted in Matches in Brief

Soup for Breakfast

Because I’m not gifted at titles, I thought I’d be so lazy and just say what I’m doing right now as my title. It’s tomato soup if you’re interested. Always 2 slices of buttered bread too.

Now. Football, specifically Belgian football for that matter. Another 8 matches where the only team I constantly right off and get wrong recently is Kortrijk, but then again, there are others that also land egg on my face. Tonight includes two sides who have progressed in the Croky Cup, and again Charleroi have another Friday night match. The likelihood is a home win. Les Zèbres have won 4 league matches in a row, with the last defeat coming to, guess who, Oostende, who themselves are turning things around. Going to be close though between these two. Big match tonight!

Then tomorrow there are 4 matches that are too tough to call. Other than Lokeren vs Anderlecht where I can’t look anything past an away win, although last season the tricolores did extremely well against Anderlecht at the Daknam, the rest could be all draws. Kortrijk-Beveren, Mouscron-STVV and Mechelen-Genk could all be draws. We had a dress rehearsal of the latter match on Wednesday. All are out of form and out of sorts right now, dipping in and out of wins and losses. Everyone has now been caught up. Where Beveren, Sint-Truiden and Mouscron had magnificent starts, they’re now being caught up by Anderlecht, Standard and Gent.

Sunday sees the top sides (and Eupen) take stage. I’ll take the splinters out in a second as, again, I can only see draws. Brugge have the easier task against Eupen at the Kehrweg, but Standard-Antwerp, which was the worst 90 minutes I’d ever seen in the reverse recently, and Zulte Waregem-Gent sees us out of another week. Liège are certainly on the up whereas Antwerp have almost settled and Gent are turning themselves around too, whereas Zulte are in a slump, although they have looked promising.

Even though I’ve said that 5 out of the 8 matches could be draws, rather than looking at a dull bunch of matches, I look at it as an intriguing, tight, close round this weekend which I’m sure won’t disappoint!