This group in my opinion is still wide open, which may sound disrespectful (and I’ll explain that in a minute) but I still believe one of five can still top this group, and with that little part of this paragraph, I may have offended another team. Top of this group is a team who has surprised me since my first post back after the cup, second is a team who finished 7 points off relegation, and 3rd is another second tier side!
Firstly, we’ll start at the top. The best team currently performing in these play offs, and that is Union Saint Gilloise! The this team look to not only be playing with no fear, but have been resolute as well as clinical. They’ve scored from open play and set pieces and their only goal conceded was possibly through poor goalkeeping. They host a side with just 1 point, yet you’d possibly still wouldn’t rule them out of Europe just yet. Standard Liege. One point from 2 matches, although it could’ve been three last week, they just haven’t got their act together. Losing to Lierse away and then drawing at home against Sint Truiden, for me, isn’t good enough. This is so tough for Les Rouches because USG have nothing to lose whatsoever. With Belfodil and Orlando Sa then a win is certainly possible, but I’m not sure whether they’ll go to Brussels and pick one up…
After that curtain raiser to the weekend, I feel this fixture is as entertaining as it is unpredictable. STVV welcome Lierse to the Staaien. Lierse’s second away match on the trot and I’m sure they’llhope for better than last time out. A solid performance snatched from them in the last minute away to Mechelen may make this side tougher and hopefully, hungrier for a win. However, Sint Truiden sit second, undefeated and at home, they can be formidable. With this confidence, this match looks more enticing than on paper. It could be a drab 0-0 but I have a feeling there could be goals in store for both.
Lastly, Beveren. Bottom. Zero points. Minus six goal difference. Boos at half time and full time. Up next is Mechelen. I just think this not only has away win written all over it but a comprehensive win as well. I feel guilty condemning teams to defeat before a ball has been kicked but I’m just not optimistic for those travelling to the Freethiel wearing yellow. So far the play offs have embarrassed me, but this looks a certainty. The only way Mechelen may lose is if they’re as confident and maybe complacent as me.
To sum up, the disrespect before this blog was for the promoted sides thinking Standard and Mechelen would walk this group. The second disrespect was to Beveren because I said 5 out of 6 teams have a chance of Europe here leaving them out. Hopefully I’m wrong in regards to a non competition, but the reality doesn’t look good.