I look at this group and I just feel…Blurgh you know? Well you probably don’t because those reading this will probably be supporters of these 6 teams involved, but I just think two things with this group. Firstly, Genk may get maximum points from every match, unless the Celta Vigo matches take too much out of them. And secondly, if Genk are to be troubled, then Eupen may maintain pace potentially and the home and away matches will be mini finals, within a group, before the actual finals to decide who’ll be in the Europa League.
And talking of Eupen, we’ll start on the German border where Lokeren come to town. Before saying anything, after the Standard Liege draw in January, I thought they were doomed. They lost to Mouscron and Beveren shortly after and I genuinely thought that was it. But Gent away springboarded them back out of the bottom 2 and they picked up ten points thereafter fantastically. Lokeren on the other hand haven’t been great in the play offs and other than raising their game at home against the top sides in the regular season, they’ve been unimpressive. Four goals this calendar year just isn’t good enough. Gary Martin still hasn’t scored and Tom De Sutter is the only striker to score in 2017, but only netting twice! With Eupen’s quality and youth up top, I’m nervous for what they could do to Lokeren at home, but we’ll find out. Complacency and inconsistency could be the home teams downfall?
The second match on Saturday is Roeselare vs Mouscron. Fourth vs sixth with 1 point between them. For me this is an opportunity for Roeselare to grab a win. They’re at home and I’ve said it before, Mouscron look just pleased to be in the top flight for another season. Both teams have nothing to lose in a match where it’ll either be nervous and cagey, or a goalfest. Mouscron can play well on their day. The home side can also do damage, nearly upsetting Eupen in the first match, so it could be exciting, but maybe I’m just being optimistic?
Lastly, on Sunday, Kortrijk may take advantage of Genk’s European exploits on Thursday. A 3-2 defeat in Spain is actually positive, so the Blue and Whites may feel confident going into this match. However, Chevalier and Saadi are deadly on their day and maybe, just maybe, Genk may relish the opportunity of a Europa League semi final and make changes. Naranjo will be back from ineligibility in midweek, so no doubt he’ll go back up top, and he is in form, so this game looks like a good game reading that back with their respective strike forces.
All I’m sure of, but not certain, is that there should be less draws this weekend and more goals, especially in this group!