So…Tonight we’ll find out who will be in the quarter finals of the Europa League. Is it facetious to say Genk are already through? Mbwana Samatta is red hot right now and at home, it could prove to be a step too far for Gent, even with Jeremy Perbet who‘ll look to make up for his penalty miss in the last match and he has been fantastic in Europe this season.
Reading that paragraph back, i have gone straight in there and described who may be the difference, but if you break it down, a 5-2 lead for Genk looks insurmountable for the visitors to turn around. To score 4 unanswered goals they literally have nothing to lose tonight and it could be all out attack. If Yuya Kubo was eligible, it actually may prove to be different. He has been extraordinarily good since his arrival, but the turnaround looks unlikely.
If you look at league form, and that can be relevant in this case, Genk have the joint 4th best home form in the Pro League, whereas Gent have the 11th best (or 6th worst) away form in the league. Like I’ve stated, this is the ultimate of all one offs due to the circumstances, but the hill they have the climb is almost a vertical downward line!
To the later match, Anderlecht take a 1-0 away win back to the Constant Vanden Stock. Like previous rounds, Rene Weiler has tested some of his more important players and gone with Frank Acheampong and Isaac Kiese Thelin instead of Belgium’s top scorer Lukasz Teodorczyk. I think tonight may be a bit different. Not that that pairing isn’t capable, i just think going for a striker and settled line up, for the chance to be in the quarter finals, is more of a way to go.
Bringing that away goal back home as well may prove to be key as well. Away goals in Europe are always pivotal. Let’s just hope Les Mauves take their league form into Europe and see to teams from Belgium through. Without tempting fate, I’m still confident Anderlecht won’t let Belgium down tonight, but to have 25% of the Europa League based in Belgium is a huge achievement. And let’s hope they don’t draw each other IF Anderlecht qualify, although to have a certainty in the semi final would be fantastic as well!