Today saw the announcement of the fixture list in Belgium’s Pro League and the first round of fixtures has thrown up quite the dual.
The first date of destiny for newly promoted Antwerp sees them host champions Anderlecht! The 2 champions of Belgium face off in a huge match in about 6 weeks. Because every match is tighter than you think, one way or another, the rest of the matches will look different on paper than on the pitch!
Saturday 29th July sees Lokeren host Club Brugge in Ivan Leko’s first league match at the helm of the Blauw-Zwart. And on that night, Genk, who were magnificent in the play offs, play Beveren who may look to target survival before anything else. Eupen may do likewise with a tough opener against cup holders Zulte Waregem at home. The final match on Saturday sees Charleroi welcome Kortrijk. KVK may look to gain some sort of consistency, and already dipping their toe into the transfer market, hopefully their fresh faces will create stability along with quality.
On the Sunday, Mechelen, who I thought performed so well overall last term, will hope to do even better in the final stretch next term, face a side who also have just appointed a new manager, Standard Liege. Managerless Sint Truiden face a tough task in Gent on the first day before the final match sees Europa League bound Oostende host Mouscron to the Versluys Arena.
Stand out fixtures, on paper, for me include Antwerp-Anderlecht, Mechelen-Standard and STVV-Gent for all types of reasons. But now the clubs know who’ll they’ll have as of now, all focus will be for that last weekend in July!