I had a couple of ideas in mind. I’ll save them for when I get my usual writers block. But, before any of that, just a train journey away from one capital to another, Anderlecht visit the Parc de Princes tonight to face not only the best team in France, but one of the best teams in Europe right now.
Last time these 2 met it was a 4-0 demolition job by PSG in Brussels and to be honest, I felt that that result was flattering. Les Mauves had plenty of chances that could’ve at least seen a draw, but when you have a top 3 of Neymar, Mbappé and Cavani all on target, with Di Maria coming on top, you kind of have no chance.
Since that match, Anderlecht’s form has been okay with a couple of wins, but away from home in Europe, I just can’t see an upset. Add to that the fact they’ve kept up an impressive stat of conceding 3 or more goals per match and haven’t scored a goal, I do worry for Hein Vanhaezebrouck and his players.
On Thursday we see Zulte Waregem go north rather than south, to Arnhem to face Vitesse. The wooden spoon match with both teams winless, but…wait a minute, Zulte aren’t completely pointless! Drawing 2 weeks ago against the Dutch side, if they somehow win away they honestly have a chance of progression, making the Nice match a bit of a cup final, also depending on if Lazio continue their 100% record.
If Lazio win, Waregem do have a chance, although that does mean winning every other match too. It’s not impossible but it is unlikely. Beyond all of this, and without repeating myself, such a good footballing nation still haven’t won a single match in Europe, qualifying or otherwise.
The other thing as well is that it can take clubs time to get to grips with European football. What with the travelling, the style of play and all other things that go around that. I will excuse the 2 clubs in Europe this season, not only because I’m kind like that, but also because both groups are incredibly difficult.
My point being, if Anderlecht and Zulte Waregem are having a tough time, just think about the potential clubs for next season. Sint Truiden, Antwerp, Mouscron, Charleroi as the main possibilities. If they’re unconvincing and unconventional now, imagine them on a Thursday night in Eastern Europe, or worse, somewhere else like maybe Anfield, the San Siro or Stade Velodrome?!?
They’ll all have to qualify first and that’s 10 months away. But this week, I simply hope for the best. Good luck
All pictures courtesy of Getty Images