When I do a Player Profile, it’s tough to actually pick a player who’ll not only play, but make a difference. With a huge game, in this case, the Croky Cup final, this match could relieve such pressure going into the Playoffs as with Genk or Standard will be guaranteed Europa League football, just like Zulte Waregem last season. With that said, you have to feel that the difference maker could be a striker.
With today being the Croky Cup final, there’s only one Standard Liège player I can pick right? Renaud Emond has come into his own in this tournament and there’s no other player I could pick surely. After a first half of the season to forget in the league, the Belgian centre forward has been very impressive in the Pro League. It’s like 2018 is the year of Emond at Standard, scoring four and chipping in with three assists too. Now that Orlando Sa has left, you’d expect him to get more playing time, and scoring two in his last two, including in the dramatic win last weekend, he is as red hot as his hair.
But forget the league, he has taken the Croky Cup by storm. For me, Les Rouches have had the toughest run in the cup this year, playing Anderlecht and Oostende away, and then stopping Club Brugge getting to the final. The 4-1 home win will live long in the memory for Emond, as he banged in a hat trick that spoiled any chances of potential double for Club Brugge. He also hit a nail in the coffin scoring at the Jan Breydel too. As an attacker, you’d be relishing the chance to play for Standard Liège this year, as the team have managed to score three or more goals in seven matches. A far cry compared to the back end of 2017. The club will be buoyant after last weeks victory over Oostende and the fact Standard have beaten De Smurfen twice this season.
A tough test for Les Rouches in the way of getting past a strong and focused Genk side, who look totally different under Phillipe Clement. Adding to that, the strong defence including Vukovic, Aidoo and Colley, it will be difficult, but certainly a test Emond can pass, going by the opposition Standard have faced so far. With the supporting cast of Marin and Carcela, and the great width Standard have, you’d think Standard could score plenty of goals.
This final could live long in the memory. Plenty of attacking prowess on both sides, it’s Renaud Emond’s task to etch his name into the history of Standard Liège. Who says he couldn’t…?