Posted in Matches in Brief

Six into Two Doesn’t Go

Yesterday saw the end of the JPL action for another weekend (unfortunately) with just three matches remaining in the regular season. I always prefer the regular season to Playoffs. Maybe it’s because that’s what normal leagues do and I’m a routine kinda guy, but a Playoff system is what we have, which makes the run in more exciting.

Obviously those going into the top six won’t have title aspirations, but European football is a certain possibility. What’s even better is that out of those six jostling for fifth and sixth, you have Kortrijk, Antwerp, STVV and Beveren. That’s not me saying I don’t want Genk or Standard getting in there, but I had them down for top six anyway. With either of those getting into Europe via a Croky Cup win anyway, one may well miss out altogether come the end of May.

I have no preference over who gets in there, but I was disappointed at the last minute equaliser last night by Amallah just so it can make things even closer! Mouscron really pushed for the win as much as their visitors, going by my matchday sources, and I’ll reiterate, I have no favourites, meaning as much as I wanted Beveren to win, Mouscron showed battling qualities which has seen them survive this season AND secure their place in the Pro League for another campaign.

Talking of not giving up. With 10 men, Standard grabbed what could be a vital point away at Charleroi, who again dropped points, just like the rest of the top 3 again. In saying that though, Gent threw away a golden chance to gain ground, but showed why I rate them so much, not only through coming back, but nearly actually taking all three points. Both bottom clubs like to keep things interesting. Eupen like to give away points as much as Mechelen. De Kakkers have lost 4 points against two huge clubs in recent weeks, away from home as well.

Full credit to Mouscron, Standard and Mechelen because I didn’t think they’d get points this weekend and they all managed a point. It goes to show if you don’t win, then certainly don’t lose, because Standard are keeping that top six fight interesting, Mouscron are now safe because of that point, and if Mechelen stay up by a point, I’m sure their fans would’ve taken that before kick off!

I think because nobody wants to capitalise on Brugge’s lack of wins, as it always has been, the league is theirs to lose because if Gent aren’t winning either, that eleven point gap just isn’t getting smaller. At least we have a fascinating relegation tussle, which Mechelen are literally winning on points, and an exciting battle for the top six, which if you remember, I had Antwerp and Beveren squeaking it, but nobody literally knows what will happen as every week you can’t call it in the Pro League. I LOVE IT.

Posted in Matches in Brief

What’s Going On?!?

So far this weekend every match has either been a draw, or settled by a singular goal where relating to my post this week, have the top teams bottled it? Club Brugge and Anderlecht, again, didn’t win and this should be worrying. Anderlecht just aren’t good enough and Brugge conceded two goals again in the league. Defences win you titles and Club Brugge’s is costing them theirs right now.

Full credit to Genk though. Not many teams go to the Jan Breydel and get anything, but to take the lead and then get a draw in adversity, they’re certainly getting better as we edge towards that 30th match. Hans Vanaken is Blauw-Zwarts hero again, scoring 5 in his last 6. From what I’ve read, it was pretty even. Leko needs to sort things out and tighten up.

Even though Brugge haven’t been great, Anderlecht have been worse. Bust ups, fans smoking out the Stayen, winter transfer signings already consigned to the bench, even Chuba Akpom scores! Either STVV know how to beat Les Mauves or the champions aren’t doing things right, or both. Full credit to Sint-Truiden though for not only winning, but keeping a clean sheet. Losing Hanni is as bad as we all thought. I keep saying though that the positive is the youth players getting minutes this season under Vanhaezebrouck.

Now. In the grand scheme of things, Antwerp’s season has been magnificent. You can’t question them at all. However, can you question their mentality at the crunch? A 0-0 at home against Oostende isn’t usually a bad result, but the way this season has gone, it actually isn’t a great result. Super result for the Seasiders as they’re keeping clean sheets and gaining points. If Zinho Gano was getting more minutes, they could be more dangerous, but this is a good draw, which could prove costly to Antwerp?

Game of the weekend (so far) saw Eupen battle and take a 2-0 lead, including a fine strike from Mamadou Kone who looks really good. What if the Pandas had him from day one? However, another fine African striker in Harbaoui showed his class and experience and is making a fool out of Vanhaezebrouck, A FOOL I TELLS YA, by scoring a brace, before a free kick from Hamalainen sealed this one. Eupen have been pretty good defensively under Makélélé, but really let themselves go here at the Regenboogstadion, as Essevee secure safety. Who’d have thought I’d say that this season?

Kortrijk round us off with a vital 1-0 win for De Kerels and obviously, Chevalier is the hero. Lokeren just can’t get their home form together whereas Kortrijk have gone up to 5th! Amazing turnaround under De Boeck. It shows that a decent defence and a potent attack can get you anywhere in Belgium. Could be a memorable one at the Guldensporen this year!?!

Posted in Player Profile

Player Profile: Taiwo Awoniyi

Before the start of the season I had two teams in my head scrapping for survival. One was Eupen, and I’m guessing everybody had them too. The other was Mouscron, and with them not mathematically safe yet, they’re also mathematically in with a chance of sixth. At the end of the day, both outcomes are unlikely, which is thanks to the departed Mircea Rednic, and the quality loan signings of Omar Govea, Jonathan Bolingi and in this case, Taiwo Awoniyi!

At just 20, he has already had some career. Coming from Nigeria to Liverpool, he has already played in Germany, Holland and now Belgium. Unfortunately at those previous loan clubs, he’d suffered relegation. He was probably thinking he was a jinx! The big, powerful and hard working striker can score poachers goals or take on players and produce a cool finish, just like against Zulte Waregem and his goal last week, showing strength, determination and quality beating an extremely good goalkeeper in Ochoa at his front post.

A penny for Awoniyi’s thoughts too regarding the Pro League and Eredivisie. Like Boljevic, who he’ll likely be coming up against this weekend, he said the JPL is more physical than technical. If that’s the case, maybe that’s why it’s suited Awoniyi with his power and strength. He scored two in 18 Eredivisie matches in Holland last season, but that obviously could be down to being a year younger, meaning a little less experience, and maybe a lesser team in NEC than in Mouscron.

Averaging a goal every four matches this season, he hit the ground running in Belgium, with three goals and two assists in his first seven matches. However, things did dry up a bit for the young Nigerian, but last weekend should give him plenty of optimism and confidence after a great display from the whole team, not just the striker, with another tough match against Beveren tomorrow night. Last time these two met, W-B won 2-0 at the Freethiel. The difference then to now is that Beveren have also lost their manager, so in a way, it could be a totally different match as this is Frank Defays first match in charge of REM.

Looking at the opposition, Beveren have been outstanding under Clement and now Vermant. Definitely in with a shout of Playoff 1 and drawing with leaders Club Brugge last time out, this will be tough for the hosts, and maybe a wake up call to Defays who’ll hopefully reach Playoff 2 and then can begin to put his points across.

The match to see us out of the weekend, Mouscron can definitely come up with a win. They’ve already beaten Brugge and Gent at home, so anything’s possible. But without a suspended Govea, other players will need to step up and take more responsibility, including Taiwo Awoniyi in this tough encounter.

Posted in Matches in Brief

More Change in Belgium

This weekend will see yet another new face in a dugout around the Pro League. The other day Mouscron saw the back of Mircea Rednic and almost immediately hired Frank Defays. Obviously I don’t know all the goings on at these Belgian clubs. I’m not even in the country! But I felt it was unfair to let the Romanian go unless the board wanted an answer on a new deal and were tired of waiting for his answer? Still, the new man has more time as his new side don’t kick a ball in anger under his new’ regime’ until Sunday night.

For me, that match is a freebie because although REM haven’t been amazing for about four months, and their fans would love a win, along with the manager and players, they’re up against a very good Beveren side who don’t surprise me anymore when they get a good victory at home, or away. Looking at the other fixtures though, there aren’t many where the fans would be happy with defeat. I’ll say Mouscron won’t be happy, but they’ll hardly be devastated as they’ll hope for simply progression and fight, liked they showed against Standard last weekend.

I’m sure if I had to pick teams who’d maybe ‘need’ a win more than want one, honestly, some are more in need. Antwerp would love a victory as they’re beginning to slowly slide towards seventh. A lot of teams in the top six have hit a wall in my opinion, with the exception of Gent and Genk. But The Great Old definitely have, with Genk overtaking them and Kortrijk, Standard and Beveren circling beneath them, ready to get any scraps. STVV’s top six dreams look to have ended though as they face Anderlecht tonight where I think Vanhaezebrouck would relish three points. I didn’t think Oostende would win at all last week and pleasantly surprised me. A falling out with Deschacht seems to be the topic of discussion this week which may deflect away from Les Mauves deficiencies on the pitch. Sint Truiden would also love a win, but I just feel that they’ve lost all chance of getting back into the top six, although their valiant performance all season has been great.

Eupen and Mechelen are still in a desperate state as either hope to claw their way closer to safety. Its now De Kakkers who have the upper hand after a vital win over their relegation rivals last weekend. Going to Gent and scoring however is almost as difficult as getting a win altogether. Gent are the best team in the league in my opinion right now, and I just can’t see them losing to anyone, even with Kalinic injured. Zulte Waregem take on Eupen at the Regenboogstadion in the hope of getting as high up the table as possible. Eupen will firstly hope to be good defensively, but Essevee have Harbaoui who has been brilliant since coming in on loan and maybe embarrassing Vanhaezebrouck a bit as he needs a half decent striker at Anderlecht right now.

The top two have extremely tough games with Brugge hosting Genk and Charleroi welcoming Standard. Both away teams have been outstanding this year and of course will be facing each other in the Croky Cup final next month. The top two have only won one league game each this year, which maybe proves my point of teams hitting a wall. Genk are awesome away though in comparison to their home form, and Standard aren’t as good away as they are at home. Of course, Clement is also going back, again, to Brugge and to see his friend Ivan Leko. I still think the home sides will win, but I’ve thought this nearly all year so my opinion means nothing.

And finally… Lokeren , who are just no good at the Daknam, take on a superb Kortrijk side with THE in form striker in Teddy Chevalier. Away win written all over this for me, but as I said earlier, I thought Anderlecht would win against a struggling side last week and I was wrong.

Another major week in Belgian football where goalkeepers seemed to be the topic of discussion, with Penneteau and Kalinic out, Van Crombrugge saying he’s leaving at the end of the season and who’ll start in goal for Club Brugge and Anderlecht?

Posted in Uncategorized

Where’s Their Bottle Gone?

As the regular season draws ever closer to its end, two clubs have led the way. Club Brugge and Charleroi have been outstanding all season and deserve their place on the podium. Anderlecht have themselves done extremely well to get themselves into contention of anything, although in my opinion, they undeservingly sit third, but then again, the table never lies.

Blauw-Zwart have stood above everyone else virtually since day one. Waregem faded along with other, and many rivals never got going. They deserve their spot at the top and look exciting. However, with Leko being very young for a manager at a top club in Belgium, he may unfortunately learn the hard way of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. My point is that this revolving goalkeeper door of shot stoppers starting one week to the next, shipping some out and bringing others in. It’s not great to do this with the most important position on the pitch, in my opinion.

Next is Les Zébres who were so good defensively, and then great towards the end of matches. A strong defensive unit, with fantastic work on both wings and a superb striker in his maiden Pro League season. It was sweet at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi. Mazzu is one of the managers of the season and the barcodes look good for some sort of European football next season.

Lastly, Anderlecht have snuck into third and with some really good signings in the past window, you’d think the garden was looking rosier. The problem is, there’s no real first choice striker, as their biggest goal threat has gone back to his parent club injured. A bit like Club Brugge, I’m unsure Vanhaezebrouck is stuck on which goalkeeper he wants to use, and losing the talisman and captain rolled into one to Spartak Moscow, getting wins has become extremely difficult.

This is where the lack of bottle, a pair of bollocks if you will, looks to be missing. Not just from one of them, but all three are pissing their season up the wall. Yes I know, there’s plenty of time once the league splits, but until then these three are looking at Gent and almost encouraging them to join the party and upset it frankly. Gent have been superb in 2018. De Buffalos have made up 5 points on those above them as the three aforementioned clubs have all won just six points in the five matches they’ve all played in 2018.

Club Brugge, Charleroi and Anderlecht just need to pick it up. The winter break just hasn’t helped them at all and has made the run in more exciting. If form continued to the end the way it’s going, Gent would be second joined on points by Charleroi, with Anderlecht a point off and making the playoffs unbelievably fun. This obviously won’t happen…yet. Because of the stuttering from the top three it has allowed Gent to come in and upset whatever was going on.

Posted in Matches in Brief

Got to give Credit

I haven’t written my usual piece regarding the consequences of this weekends action. Instead of explaining the goals and other key parts I moved to giving my opinion of what the result meant to the two clubs playing. Many reasons behind that which there’s no point explaining. However…this weekend there were results where teams have shown guts, desire and quality. Adding to that though, not all winners are winners and not all losers are losers…

This regular season, a lot of clubs have outdone themselves and have been fantastic. Upsetting the odds and probably surprising fans and, well, everyone in the process. This weekend, not every club has been consistently good at all this campaign, but results make fans happy and you can’t take that away from them all week!

Lokeren deserve a huge amount of credit. Keeping up their fantastic away form, they managed to take a point from Charleroi. Peter Maes obviously knows how to set his team up away, and frustrating your opponents and taking opportunities is what the perfect away performance is. With a big points gap between the two, the Tricolores deserve full credit in my eyes. Just shame it can’t be reflected at home!?!

Then we have Oostende who clearly frustrated the fuck out of Dendoncker. An own goal with a red card, it clearly shows a bit of petulance from the Belgian. But winning the game in the first 15 minutes must give De Kustboys confidence as they, like Lokeren, fashioned chances that ended up with goals and held on the entire match to a clean sheet! Superb stuff. I could go on about Anderlecht’s inadequacies, but the limelight isn’t on them here. No sir!

Mechelen next as they showed courage against Anderlecht away the previous week, and may have just saved themselves from the drop. Like I said earlier, I want to focus on this week for the fans because I’d be extremely happy and full of belief after the past fortnight. The future is still tough, but taking three points and halting Eupen’s momentum was pivotal and full credit to Dennis Van Wijk because I wouldn’t have seen this under Jankovic. Would you?

Now, who do I praise the most here? De Boeck, Chevalier, Ouali, Kaminski? Throw a name in. Kortrijk were unlucky not to be going to the Croky Cup final, and instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they annihilated Antwerp with the aforementioned Chevalier grabbing a hat trick. Kortrijk were doomed in my mind under Anastasiou. Not saying he was bad, but it clearly wasn’t a match made in heaven. Now De Boeck has come in, there must be an air of confidence around the Guldensporen every match day. It’s incredible.

With the match of the weekend being Standard-Mouscron, it’s tough to not say how well Mouscron did before the final whistle. But before Sunday, Les Rouches deserved a huge amount of credit. With a sour note ending 2017, I have been quite open in commenting on Sa Pinto. Questioning his antics and how boring Standard were, I didn’t want to watch them, but at home in 2018, Standard have scored 14 goals and are also in the cup final, beating Anderlecht away and Club Brugge over two legs, so their place is thoroughly deserved. The squad is playing well though, not just the usual eleven and there is such a togetherness amongst the squad seeing how they’re celebrating victories. It’s now really enjoyable watching Liège.

Lastly, I’ll comment on how well Beveren are doing. Losing their manager, captain and talisman and showing fighting spirit in every match. Their draw this weekend proved that and Vermant is finding management easy going by results. I enjoy seeing Beveren succeed this season and the fight between them, Kortrijk, Standard, Genk and Antwerp now isn’t over by a long shot. The only worry is keeping the current players this summer because if they’re still getting results beyond the trio who have gone, it’s showing that players are stepping up and taking responsibility.

I could also mention Gent, but without being too unfair, they’re expected to do well. Keep plugging away as the top 3 just aren’t winning anymore! Their defensive qualities with their attacking prowess is shining through. But for all the six I focused on, it shows that each week, a team gets everything right now and again, against the odds. For all we know STVV and Eupen could be heroes come Sunday night?

Posted in Player Profile

Player Profile: Clément Tainmont

This weekend could be make or break for two teams in particular this season. With time running out at the bottom of the table, Mechelen-Eupen takes on extra importance. Club Brugge may be licking their wounds at a cup exit and Anderlecht aren’t having a vintage season, but for the Mechelen players and fans, this could be devastating! Relegation can’t be a thought in their head, and with Clément Tainmont, he has been drafted in to help save the day, and progress the team next season too!

The Frenchman will think ‘how have I gone from 2nd…to 16th?!?‘ But in some way I’m confident he’ll be happier. He has played every minute since coming into this disjointed club and has been trusted to help dig the club out of this position. With his quality and experience, he will try his best to grab the club’s first three points this year, after being extremely unlucky last week as I felt Mechelen were the better team against Anderlecht.

Playing predominantly on the left, he is useful attacking wise, with assists, and grabbing the odd goal like his cracker against Zulte Waregem just before the winter break. Obviously I can’t read his mind, but I’m guessing he is looking around the changing room at the AFAS and wondering how this team is in this position with quality players around him. The problem is, I’ve managed to see De Kakkers against Lokeren, Charleroi and Club Brugge this season, and each time the effort and desire was questionable. But watching last weekend, maybe Van Wijk has instilled some commitment amongst the squad.

If you’re going to go down, at least give yourself a chance, and that’s what they did, with Tainmont being pivotal out wide. It must be tough though with three managers this season and an influx of players in January. You can’t say Mechelen haven’t tried in every way off the pitch to somehow get it right, but translating it into performances is different. Eupen made a change and it worked if I’m honest. Makélélé has come in and Eupen could be in an even better position frankly. The Frenchman has made the Pandas defensively better and they’re nicking points. That’s an area Mechelen could take some ideas from. As in, if you don’t win, definitely don’t lose!

With this being a home game, Mechelen may feel the need to have to attack. Of course they’ll have to to survive, but be wary of a counter attack. When the hosts are on the front foot, that’s where Tainmont comes in to provide that calmness with quality teeing up Bandé, Pedersen or even taken the chance on for himself? They haven’t scored at home for three matches now, conceding seven in that time too, so the players will know its time to change that!

Overall, with one team going down eventually, people have said to me they don’t want Mechelen going down. A huge Pro League club and the last Belgian side to win a European trophy, this could be devastating for the league in general. However, in Eupen finish fifteenth, you can’t help but congratulate them. I’ve gone for a home win, with Tainmont pulling the strings, but with this wacky season, anything can happen.

Posted in Matches in Brief

The Links Effect

Not so much Lynx, but there are some matches this weekend where there is a link. A connection. Obviously you all know more than me. But Oostende-Anderlecht, Beveren-Club Brugge, there’s more if you dig deeper, but on the surface, these four teams are connected in their respective matches by certain people. Beyond that, another eight huge matches where on paper they’re easy to call, but on the pitch you can’t be too sure…

Oostende vs Anderlecht with Charleroi vs Lokeren and maybe even the Standard-Mouscron matches will most likely go with the favourites, but think about it. De Kustboys have now got a new owner in place and that could spur them on massively before Coucke finally leaves as owner. Lokeren are fantastic away, especially against better clubs, so that match isn’t cut and dry. And lastly, Mouscron may be playing Standard at a time where celebrations may have gotten a bit too much after one of the best defeats they’ve ever had yesterday in Brugge.

Anderlecht showed weaknesses against Mechelen last week and players are still adjusting under Vanhaezebrouck by the looks of things, meaning Oostende would love to take advantage. Lokeren are great away. In a recent post, they have 17 away points with Charleroi gaining 23 home points. It should have home win plastered all over this, but clearly the Tricolores set up better away than at the Daknam. Charleroi may smell blood as Club Brugge travel to Beveren a couple of hours earlier with a cup exit to get over.

But Sven Vermant will know more than Leko would’ve hoped. Brugge have conceded sixteen goals in 2018 and that is terrible. Going to the Freethiel with Thelin in a rich vain of form, this could be very interesting and could really show us how Brugge will react to all these adversities. There was another semi final this week (as I remind myself) as other finalists Genk host Zulte Waregem, still the Croky Cup holders (another LINK).

Genk are awful at home this season, and weren’t the most convincing on Tuesday. Waregem will hope to capitalise after a full weeks rest and an upturn in form this calendar year, with real depth in quality amongst the squad. This is one of the games of the weekend to kick us all off, and I’m sure Essevee are grateful that it’s not another 7pm GMT Sunday night kickoff. Finishing off this tedious Cup link, Kortrijk welcome Antwerp who have been out of sorts. Draw specialists Antwerp can’t get any form at all, and a trip to the Guldensporen isn’t ideal. Kortrijk have been slightly up and down so far by the week. Probably another draw if I had to pick a result but surprises can happen in his division.

Gent-STVV looks a good match going by where De Kanaries have been and where Gent are! However, I just can’t see past a home victory. Vanderhaeghe has done so well, which I’ve probably said too often, since coming to the Ghelamco and Sint-Truiden have hit a wall. A top four spot and possibly higher is what Buffalo fans still want, and it can be achieved, but lapses against lesser teams like Eupen last week aren’t needed. And finally I’ve left the bottom two til last because that’s where they are. The proverbial six pointer here, I honestly don’t know what to call. I truly believe there’ll be a winner, but a toss of a coin isn’t good enough. If Bandé plays as well as he did last weekend then Mechelen could climb off the bottom, but this new, resilient Eupen is impressive and could ground out something at the AFAS!?!

A smorgasbord of delectable matches served on a platter for your enjoyment this weekend. I’m so happy with what I just wrote I may steal that as my Twitter/Facebook intro thingy…whatever.

Posted in Uncategorized

First Goal Wins

I did a post last season regarding this sort of subject and sometimes it’s fascinating. Last season, if I recall, Standard Liège would’ve won the regular season IF they knew how to hold onto a lead once they took it. This season, there is a leader by just one point and that team will rue not holding onto a lead once taking it. Obviously football is a ninety minute match, and no two halves are the same (usually). I used to always say to my sister that you can’t win a match in the first half, but you can definitely lose it, which is a bit of a cliche.

With all that said, Charleroi would be top of the table with 51 points. They have taken the lead more than any other club, and therefore top the table. I have a few rules if I ever followed through with my coaching career and they are…points are as vital in August as they are in May and that set pieces and fitness are the biggest factor in football, but that ideology is for another day. Charleroi’s start has aided with where they are now in reality, with Gent and Anderlecht playing catch up, but in this new league I have, they may look at themselves and think defensively, could they have done better once taking a lead, including last Sunday.

Club Brugge are third, with Anderlecht fourth, but Gent would be second just a point off of Les Zébres. This league throws up some surprises, but most of the teams are around where they are in real life, or at least there or thereabouts. As I’ve said, five of the top six are still in the top six (Antwerp being the other) with Genk in seventh. But the one who’d be fifth and eleven points better off if they held a lead would be Kortrijk.

Holding a lead, no matter when you take it, is such a mental thing rather than physical. It can give you confidence if you get it early, and then make you nervous the longer you hold it. On the other side, it can wake you up, that’s why if an underdog takes a lead, they say it’s possibly the worst thing as it can ‘anger’ the favourites. I guess that’s somewhat true as Club Brugge are twelve points worse off here than in reality, showing their battling instincts in the real world.

At the bottom, you have Mechelen, showing how abysmal this season has been in every way, ten points adrift of Lokeren! Oostende and then Standard Liège make up the bottom four. Because I haven’t taken goal difference into account, Eupen could be tenth if they were better defensively, proving my point from earlier regarding how early season points can be important as they have always been woeful at the back under Jordi Condom. I’ll just leave you with the table if a team scores first and then that was it!

Charleroi 51pts

Gent 50pts

Club Brugge 46pts

Anderlecht 45pts

Kortrijk 44pts

Antwerp 39pts

Genk 38pts

Zulte Waregem 36pts

Beveren 34pts

Mouscron 33pts

STVV 32pts

Eupen 32pts

Standard Liège 31pts

Oostende 28pts

Lokeren 26pts

Mechelen 16pts

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Is Home where the Win is?

When you play football, players tend to have a routine. Same song before the match, getting things done at a certain time and getting used to your surroundings. And that last bit of ‘getting used to your surroundings’ can take time to get used to. Does that necessarily mean victory though? Home form is key to every football club. It can help you stay up, get European football or even win a title. I’ve looked at who has performed best home and away and it is interesting.

That’s why I’m starting with Lokeren. The team currently in 13th are bottom of the home form list, but sixth in the away form table. Almost having double the points away than at home, it’s their away form that has saved the Tricolores from relegation. If Lokeren had even Eupen’s home form, they’d be seventh, proving how important winning or gaining any points at home can be. Eupen have 17 points at home which is why they’re currently ‘safe’ for now. But just four away could be their downfall with three away matches still to play.

The best home form by a mile is of course Club Brugge. If they lost every away match 1-0 this season AND had every point they have gained at home with the same results, they’d be fifth! Unbelievable really. It goes to show how important home form can really be as their away form is good, but not great, placing fifth in the away table. Charleroi have the best away form, which is a point better than their home form. Anderlecht have been equally as good at home as away (in a way) and Zulte Waregem have exactly the same points at home as away.

STVV have almost threes times the home points as away. Six clean sheets at home and five 1-0 victories may be dull, but affective. Wins are wins, and those 24 points gained at home by De Kanaries have proven vital as they’re still in with a shout of sixth, but home and away form has been pretty poor in general recently, with just ten points altogether home or away since the end of October! That’s why the chasing pack have all overtaken Sint-Truiden, as Beveren, Kortrijk and Standard have gained more points, although Kortrijk’s form has coincided with the hiring of Glen De Boeck.

Before I finish, I have to say how are Genk sixth when they’ve managed just twelve points at the Luminus Arena? Phillipe Clement needs to fix that ASAP as he hasn’t even won a league match at home yet for De Smurfen, although he managed to scrape the Croky Cup semi win last night! Had to end on that as that is pretty pathetic and unbelievable!