After 4 o’clock English time yesterday, I had seen an unbelievable result in Playoff 1 that didn’t exactly surprise me. Fair enough I predicted a draw, but I couldn’t see an Anderlecht win. Standard Liège have been the best team in these playoffs with 19 points and you feel confident they’ll dig in til the end and break with pace and power. It helps when you have Mehdi Carcela and Edmilson Jr in attack, pulling the strings.
They’re entertaining and just exciting. Without this turning sour, I still disagree with the playoffs and I do feel Club Brugge deserve the title over a 38 game season that has already been played. But an unprecedented double isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. The way Les Rouches broke and then took advantage instead of wasting these chances. If we compare it to England, Anderlecht’s non existent defence was like Arsenal and the clinical quality and pace of Standard reminded me of Liverpool. I’ve commented before saying could Emond get a World Cup call up? Maybe not a start ahead of Lukaku etc, but he is a match winner and a goal scorer. The great John Chapman tweeted that Edmilson could get a call up too. And why not? You, and we of course, have Panama and Tunisia. You telling me those two couldn’t have an influence against them in Russia?
I’ve digressed. With Standard vs Brugge this weekend, it really is a cup final for Standard and nothing less than a win will do! It’ll be so tense and pressurised. With that said, Brugge need a win too. If Anderlecht decide to win and by a big margin, and Brugge draw, its not impossible for Les Mauves to overtake them on the last day. It’s highly unlikely, but Ivan Leko would surely love a win regardless of any other permutations. A big win yesterday evening and when Vormer and Vanaken turn up, its always going to be tough for Pro League opposition. That’s 19 goals in five matches against Charleroi for Brugge which is ridiculous. Nearly four a match?!? Fucking disgrace! How can Mazzu not learn? And speaking of World Cup selection, what about Vanaken…? Am I deluded?
It now makes fourth spot even more exciting because Gent and Genk don’t want to take advantage either for that Europa League playoff spot. Personally I’d like Gent to get it because I think they’ll fair better. I’m not saying I want them in Europe ahead of Zulte Waregem or Lokeren/Antwerp/STVV. I’m saying I want them to try and get fourth.
Going back to Wednesday slightly. A superb away win for Lokeren really has put them in pole position for that match against Essevee. I thought the late Antwerp defeat may have ruined everything, but Peter Maes rallied the team to get a fine away win. With a good victory this weekend, they’ll be hoping STVV nick a win for their sake, or a draw and guarantee themselves as winners of PO2B. Never even looked at Lokeren to finish top. Thought it was only between Antwerp and Sint-Truiden. Maybe there’s still life in this unpredictable season…