Posted in Matches in Brief

And that was that

I’m currently typing this at halftime where the action has been pretty fast and furious. Watching Anderlecht-Antwerp because it’s on tv and although it’s been decent, the action looked like it was coming from the Guldensporen where De Kerels are doing exactly what they’re meant to be doing, and Standard Liège are melting under the sun at the Versluys Arena, torn apart twice in the first half where they’re losing 2-0 to Oostende.

You don’t know where to look as goals are flying in regularly at Lokeren and Genk too, but it’s the visitors who are leading at those respective matches. However, at the bottom, Mechelen will be happier right now as they’re currently safe, at the expense of Eupen, where both matches are 0-0. I guess the major positives for both is that they’re not losing with 45 minutes left!

It looks like it’s a shootout between Kortrijk and Antwerp. Antwerp have been all over Anderlecht like a rash, and Matz Sels has done very well, but if Antwerp win or Kortrijk collapse, then The Great Old would’ve squeaked sixth place. It’s been topsy turvy and I’m loving it, but I’m sure it’s nerve racking for these two, and gut wrenching for Mechelen and Eupen at the bottom!

Mechelen snatches an early second half goal! Mera has been the saviour up front (surprisingly) for Mechelen. And at the same time, Standard get a goal back, possibly beginning their comeback. Obviously you’ll all know this but as I’m typing as it’s happening. It’s exciting. Eupen must know they have to score two goals now, and quickly! It’s like I’m tweeting a long blog post.

I would write about STVV-Brugge, Lokeren-Zulte and Genk-Gent but there isn’t much point as those matches only really matter to their fans, although if I were a Lokeren fan, there’s no point today as they’ve been dreadful at home and look likely to NOT win again at the Daknam. Talking of fans, Antwerp keep singing ‘your support is fucking shit’ to Anderlecht. Yeah we get it, they’re shite. Be more creative!

Mechelen are surely safe. Massive second goal, likely condemning Eupen to the second tier. A sigh of relief across Belgium as a nation of football fans looked desperate to wave goodbye to the Pandas from the top flight. I’ve been so into writing this that I’ve hardly watch the And-Ant match, with thirty minutes left.

Standard amazingly grab an equaliser and could do the unthinkable. Huge goal by Djenepo with plenty of time for a winner. Oostende have been great recently but all to play for as Kortrijk are hanging onto sixth by a thread. Unbelievable really because a goal changes everything in Oostende and Brussels.

Brugge take the lead at STVV in a match where my phone didn’t even bother informing me. Does my phone know that I…doesn’t matter…STANDARD HAVE TURNED IT AROUND! Unbelievable. I wrote them off. The unpredictable nature of the Pro League is alive! It’s 3-2 Les Rouches. It’s all kicking off. Eupen grab a goal and Anderlecht get a penalty. Gent double their lead. Anderlecht score through Ganvoula. Brilliant day in Belgium through action and plot twists.

What the fuck! Eupen triple their lead. Tears running down cheeks, dancing in the streets, it’s amazing scenes everywhere. Fucking incredible! And now Anderlecht are down to 9 men! Bad challenge. Had to be red by Trebel. Wouldn’t be surprised if somehow Antwerp make it 3-2 in the 200th minute!!! This has been an incredible ninety minutes in nearly every match in the JPL today. It’s showed who’ll be where, but also professionalism as Charleroi look ragged, Anderlecht have still battled and Zulte Waregem May want to set a marker with another good win, if they keep the score as it is. Even Genk and Gent have done their job with a good match so far as it’s now 2-1 Gent, with Genk grabbing a goal.

Toyokawa May have just sealed safety for Eupen and what a job Makélélé has done. I always get emotional regarding relegation. It’s devastating and to see Mechelen go is a shame. This will be it from me, regardless of what else may happen. I’m genuinely upset for Mechelen, as I would’ve been for Eupen. My actual club has never seen relegation but I’m certain it’s heart breaking…

Posted in Matches in Brief

Who will go and who will stay?

When you say that title, you have to use the aliens voice in Toy Story. If you don’t, lighten up! Come on guy! Moving swiftly on…I’m not actually going to give my opinion on Genk-Gent, Lokeren-Zulte Waregem and STVV-Club Brugge because nothing is really riding on those matches. Of course three of those teams can go further up the table, but that’s irrelevant now.

Starting at the bottom though, where top flight status means more to fans I’ve spoken to than anything else regarding Mechelen. I love an underdog and a battler, that’s why I’ve enjoyed seeing Eupen picking up points and taking this to the wire. That’s not me saying I want Mechelen to go down, it’s just the clamber for Eupen to be unsuccessful…everyone has there reasoning. Like I said, the history Mechelen have is great in that they’ve won four league titles and were the last Belgian club to win a European trophy. But they’ve been lacklustre, uninspiring, trigger happy and all over the place. Every time you think they’ve turned a corner they box themselves in again.

Eupen on the other hand were entertaining, even in defeat as they’d lose heavily, but they could win or draw handsomely too. They changed their manager where I thought it was a risk as Makélélé had never been in this situation in a dugout. Probably on the pitch too. But he has done extremely well and has given the Pandas a fighting chance. It looks like goal difference may be the overriding factor as they’re both on 24 points, and both have winnable matches.

Eupen have the ‘easier’ fixture as they host Mouscron at home, whereas Mechelen have Beveren at the AFAS. That’s why I feel a lot of fans in Belgium may be upset because I don’t only feel Eupen may win, but win well. Both know exactly what they have to do, and even a 1-0 win is good enough for Mechelen. Technically, a 1-0 defeat can still be good enough, depending on what’s happening at the Kehrweg. I guess that overall, don’t leave anything in the changing room and take it all on the pitch and stay focused.

The other fixtures of interest involve Standard, Antwerp and Kortrijk. I wrote off Antwerp and Kortrijk last week and said that Standard should sneak the top six. What a difference a week makes! I can’t actually decide who’ll get in there. Oostende have been amazing this and last month. Antwerp may have finally found their shooting boots last week, and just in time. And Kortrijk are always dangerous, especially at home, against a dire Charleroi.

I guess the good thing for De Kerels is that they can score plentiful of goals at home. Chevalier is on his own personal mission for the Taureau d’Or and Kaminski is solid, with an improved defence, so Kortrijk will feel positive. Standard will equally be as confident. However, like I’ve said, Oostende have been outstanding and are willing to win by any means necessary. With Sa leaving for China, that’s goals out of the team at a time they need them, with the result. Lastly, Antwerp have Anderlecht away, where Teodorczyk has decided to turn up and find the net. Morioka looks to have settled too, so Antwerp have an extremely tough task. Defensively they can be good, keeping eleven clean sheets this season. They’ll just need their forwards to really hit form, at least for tomorrow.

At the end of the day, Standard hold the advantage. They are in sixth and that still matters. However, if Kortrijk win and Standard draw, goal difference will see Kortrijk leap frog them. So many permutations in this three team mini battle for sixth.

If I had to put my neck on the line, I’d probably say Mechelen will stay up and Standard will get sixth. It’s not because that’s what I want. I don’t particularly care as I’m neutral. But football isn’t always lovey-dovey or romantic where the underdog always progresses and as I’ve always said, the cream rises to the top. Just tell that to Anderlecht, Gent and Genk who have all had their own dreadful seasons in patches.

Posted in Matches in Brief

It’s getting tight

Before I start, and I apologise for this, I am on the coach to Brighton to see the worst club in London play, and I am surrounded by a bunch of ITK c*nts. Fill in the blank. Telling us Ancelotti will be taking over…anyway. One big extravaganza day of JPL action where it whittled down who may be getting sixth. What it also did was secure Lokeren’s status in the top flight.

What may have been a shock is the Club Brugge and Anderlecht results because they both won. Blauw-Zwart won their first match in a fair while and Anderlecht tried their best (again) to nearly blow it. What if Harbaoui could play? Could’ve been a different story. Kortrijk had a major blow by not hanging on for a point. Because of goal difference, if Standard and Antwerp lose next weekend and Kortrijk draw, they’d go into sixth, but the two point deficit means nothing short of a win will do.

That is feasible though. Charleroi have been awful and a 0-0 against Sint-Truiden is uninspiring. Les Zébres could’ve gone fourth if Gent had won, showing how far they’ve fallen mentally, and maybe physically. The winter break has really ruined the top three momentum, especially Charleroi. STVV finally ran their race and are now in 9th from 6th, I’ve always said the cream rises to the top. Not saying De Kanaries aren’t decent, but more Gent, Genk and Standard are better.

The league is taking shape in the way I felt it would in pre season. Rather ‘hook or by crook’ but it is showing signs of competition going into the playoffs. Not that anyone will overtake Club Brugge, or rather, they shouldn’t, but going into next season, there could be a challenge. And along the way, with this Kortrijk surge, Zulte Waregem will go again, can Beveren build? It makes the league stronger and better.

Genk basically cemented their top six spot with a fine win at the Freethiel. A goal is all it takes and Phillipe Clement has done a good job, not only bringing in confidence, but fifth in the league and a cup final. Huge for De Smurfen. Standard likewise who are almost in an identical position. Scoring goals for fun at home, they made it tough against a battling Mechelen side.

I tweeted this yesterday. How can you score two away at Anderlecht, Gent and Standard Liege and not win? Not good enough frankly. And whereas as Mechelen are looking down, Lokeren are looking up. Saving themselves, as I predicted, with a fine 2-1 away victory. It’s fair that Mouscron have down tools, even though they’ve looked promising under Defays, but another loss. This season was a flash in the pan in the end.

Oostende pulled off the result of the day, regardless of how they achieved it. Another win, nearly blowing it and then snatching it using every trick in the book. Is it a case of bad tactics to win at all costs, or should Gent be better and should’ve dealt with this? There’s more than one way to skin a rabbit. Same goes for winning a football match. De Kustboys used savvy by the sounds of it and won.

At the Bosuilstadion, without forgetting, Antwerp blew Eupen away with a 2-0 win, and put themselves right back in with a top six shout. The Great Old have been poor this year and may sneak it at the line. But Anderlecht away next weekend is difficult. Eupen have to beat Mouscron. Nothing less. But if Beveren take their foot off the gas, a big win is needed for the Pandas, otherwise their brief stay will come to an end in the Pro League!

Posted in Matches in Brief

Stuck in the middle with you

As we head into the penultimate match of the season, fifth and sixth still aren’t certainties for a number of clubs. Mathematically, eight clubs can still finish sixth. The likelihood is that it’s probably not going to be Zulte Waregem, and especially not Oostende, but it isn’t 100% impossible. At the top end, Genk need to just win and they’ve basically guaranteed their top six place.

It’s fascinating because only two of these matches actually include the chasing pack. I’ve added Oostende in this (obviously). They’re all kept apart from each other, playing the relegation battlers or top three. I predicted Antwerp and Beveren getting into the top six about a month ago. It’s still possible, but now seems unlikely.

No one has easy games to end their regular season. Kortrijk and STVV both have Club Brugge and Charleroi. Beveren have Genk, which they’ll be desperate to win because of Clement and Seck going to the Luminus Arena. Antwerp have Eupen and Anderlecht where both will be fighting. I have already done my predictions for this weekend and I haven’t got Genk winning, meaning nearly everyone will stand a chance, except for Oostende and Zulte Waregem.

It’s so tough to call because every week there is a shock result. The top three have proved that, with four wins out of twenty one matches combined! It’s just a case of doing your job properly and staying focused, calm and collected. I’ve got a new two teams in my head for who’ll finish in fifth and sixth, Being Genk and…Standard Liège. It’s easier saying that now but not guaranteed.

I love how the final two round of matches are played at the same time to create tension and suspense. Maybe I’m overplaying it, but I want some excitement going into the last day other than who’ll get relegated? The worry is if the weather cancels any fixtures or delays any kick offs.

Posted in Matches in Brief

Who’ll be frozen out?

With this ‘Beast from the East’ sweeping Europe, especially here in England, I wonder who out of Mechelen, Eupen and now Lokeren may well lose their top flight status? A long, arduous and unpredictable season has drawn us in at both ends. Actually, it’s more the middle section that’s entranced us. But with nothing set in stone just yet, with two match days to go, who’ll be the unlucky one to go?

I never envisaged Lokeren getting themselves into this situation. I gave them a ‘B’ grade after actually not doing too bad in the first twenty one matches this season. This mini collapse of hardly any points and atrocious home form has seen them fall into this mess. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but a draw would’ve made them safe against Eupen. Now they need a win to make certain of safety. With Mouscron away next, I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat them because the Tricolores are better away. But with Zulte Waregem up last, at home too, nothings settled yet!

The Pandas have shown real grit and determination. If I went through the entire season, and every club could say this, what if Eupen held on against Club Brugge? What if they drew away at Standard? Held on away at Zulte Waregem? They’d already be safe. And in two of these matches they were 2-0 up!!! With a fighting chance, Eupen have Antwerp away who have dropped like a stone themselves, and like Lokeren, they have Mouscron too, but at home. I can’t even predict what will happen because I’ve gotten so much wrong in this crazy season, but on paper and with form, I wouldn’t be surprised if Eupen picked up six points!

The surprise of the season, for all the wrong reasons. De Kakkers have had a disastrous time. A campaign to forget. A team with great history and a current squad who are actually really good. Jesus, they have €12million rated teenager up front. There’s definitely quality amongst them. It’s just too late for Dennis Van Wijk who has at least given them a fighting chance. Much like Eupen, ifs and buts at Anderlecht and Gent recently. With Standard away next, I would say I can only see a home win, but like I’ve already mentioned, the took points from Anderlecht and Gent away. I guess with Beveren up last, who knows what can happen there? Unbelievable turn of events in the race for safety!

I predicted who’d finish in the top six, and I am unbelievably wrong right now, so my word isn’t gospel, but with the run in, in my opinion, I can see…Mechelen going down. Of course it’s just opinion. But there’s not enough confidence right now. Look at that Mats Rits penalty. I’m sure there’ll still be twists and turns in the final couple of matches, but performances need to be turned into points and fast!

Posted in Matches in Brief

Finally a top 3 team win!

That’s not the big story of the weekend but it was a surprise as Anderlecht grabbed their first win in a while, as the top three have been pretty hopeless in 2018. Big points won and lost though over the weekend as a whole, with Sunday rounding us off with a surprise in the Derby, mainly because I didn’t see it coming. Even a good Essevee fan I chat with was pleasantly surprised.

Defays will see positives in his sides defeat to Anderlecht yesterday. It could’ve been extremely embarrassing, and it was really, mainly for letting Teodorczyk score a hat trick. Who does that?!? But the negative is that you shouldn’t let yourself get into a situation where you’re 4-0 down, and then you start taking chances.

I tweeted saying that this isn’t over when Awoniyi scored, and I was right as Mouscron pulled it back to 4-3, until Morioka grabbed his second of the day, and his second goal for the club, to kill any hope. Mouscron have scored 3 away at Anderlecht and Standard, 2 away at Club Brugge and have still ended up losing. This isn’t great, although very entertaining. Superb fight back nonetheless and I’m sure Anderlecht are just happy with the win, although they like to keep things interesting, like they did at Mechelen and Eupen already this season.

A surprisingly close match, judging by score line at the Maurice Dufrasne where Les Rouches were lucky with their goal as half the squad were offside, including Ochoa! I just can’t believe how the points gap at the top is never dented with this abysmal run of draws Brugge have had. If this is them having their poor run, then it’s come in time before the playoffs, but this is a concern. Standard have been very good this year and would be sixth if they held on. I feel like apologising for the times I have been unfair to Sa Pinto this season. With top six now a huge possibility and the cup final, it could be memorable.

Now. A lot of people, well some…okay, two or three people, because nobody watches this league here, felt Kortrijk would come out on top. I believed it because they have been the outstanding team this season. But Essevee may have killed their top six dream with the difficult run in. A late Harbaoui penalty saw off De Kerels and Dury deserves praise getting the Tunisian in. De Boeck knows how important a win would have been and knows the difficulties of the task ahead. It’s not impossible of course, but Zulte Waregem would’ve loved it of course, with an amazing atmosphere as always at the Guldensporen.

Posted in Matches in Brief

It’s going down to the wire

Yesterday could be a defining day at, well, maybe both ends of the table once the points are halved. But the title refers to the bottom 3! I had to do that number in bold because Lokeren have slept walked into a relegation battle. A draw. Only a draw was needed to guarantee survival and they blew it. This is where you can question attitude. Disgusting home form but beating decent teams away doesn’t make for a positive season.

Eupen came back and won and showed that character which has drawn them level with Mechelen, and dragged the Tricolores into this as well. Superb by Makélélé as I felt this was a bit of an impossible job for him. But a marvellous win nonetheless. I’ve been a little harsh on social media towards Van Crombrugge because he has said he’ll aim to keep Eupen up and then move on. He nearly cost them four points in two matches if it wasn’t for the Luis Garcia winner. A huge win for the Pandas, with Lokeren now gasping for air.

Mechelen could’ve been one point behind Lokeren and had some daylight between themselves and the bottom club, only for the reliable Mats Rits to miss a late penalty. A draw against Charleroi is good, but a vital win would’ve not only been key, but a confidence builder. Just think, if De Kakkers had held on against Anderlecht and Gent, with Rits scoring that penalty, they’d be six points better off and basically safe! The win over Eupen two weeks ago could be the pivotal victory. Charleroi just can’t win. Top teams don’t tend to have two separate runs of matches in a season where they’re really poor. No win in 6 and with Gent joining the race for second. An amazing season could turn disastrous for Les Zébres.

Talking of Gent, I had mixed feelings about the result. I do like Beveren and in terms of deserving a chance it goes to them. But Gent are just quality. I said last night I feel they’re best equipped to represent Belgium in the Champions League next season. All the signings are working, other key players take it in turns to step up, they’ve been brilliant. But so have Beveren and I can’t criticise them. Vermant tasted defeat for the first time as manager and it could’ve been prevented. I may have been harsh on Mechelen saying ‘if they’d done this…if they’d done that…’ but if you don’t win, then don’t lose, and Beveren got caught out late. Massive win for De Buffalos as Beveren will most likely have to settle for Playoff 2.

At the Versluys, Oostende are quietly going about their business. Not only have they potentially scuppered another teams Playoff 1 hopes, but they won well through a brace by Bjelica, and kept a third clean sheet in a row! I’m probably sounding repetitive, but the clouds off field seem to be clearing for De Kustboys. STVV seem to be good one week, and then average the next. Looking to build from their win over Anderlecht, they just couldn’t. To not score with some quality strikers, that’s either a worry for De Roeck, or proof of how defensively solid Oostende have been. A quality 2-0 win with two extremely tough remaining matches.

Without forgetting, Genk demolished one of the worst teams in the JPL right now with a 4-0 win over Antwerp. After beating STVV away in December before the break, I was positive about Antwerp, but their season has massively fallen and have dropped out of top six contention surely. Genk are looking impressive, not only going into the playoffs, but the cup final too. Phillipe Clement is really just a great coach. To give Beveren a shout early on and now putting Genk in the top six and a cup final. What a maiden season for Clement.

Posted in Matches in Brief

Six into Two Doesn’t Go

Yesterday saw the end of the JPL action for another weekend (unfortunately) with just three matches remaining in the regular season. I always prefer the regular season to Playoffs. Maybe it’s because that’s what normal leagues do and I’m a routine kinda guy, but a Playoff system is what we have, which makes the run in more exciting.

Obviously those going into the top six won’t have title aspirations, but European football is a certain possibility. What’s even better is that out of those six jostling for fifth and sixth, you have Kortrijk, Antwerp, STVV and Beveren. That’s not me saying I don’t want Genk or Standard getting in there, but I had them down for top six anyway. With either of those getting into Europe via a Croky Cup win anyway, one may well miss out altogether come the end of May.

I have no preference over who gets in there, but I was disappointed at the last minute equaliser last night by Amallah just so it can make things even closer! Mouscron really pushed for the win as much as their visitors, going by my matchday sources, and I’ll reiterate, I have no favourites, meaning as much as I wanted Beveren to win, Mouscron showed battling qualities which has seen them survive this season AND secure their place in the Pro League for another campaign.

Talking of not giving up. With 10 men, Standard grabbed what could be a vital point away at Charleroi, who again dropped points, just like the rest of the top 3 again. In saying that though, Gent threw away a golden chance to gain ground, but showed why I rate them so much, not only through coming back, but nearly actually taking all three points. Both bottom clubs like to keep things interesting. Eupen like to give away points as much as Mechelen. De Kakkers have lost 4 points against two huge clubs in recent weeks, away from home as well.

Full credit to Mouscron, Standard and Mechelen because I didn’t think they’d get points this weekend and they all managed a point. It goes to show if you don’t win, then certainly don’t lose, because Standard are keeping that top six fight interesting, Mouscron are now safe because of that point, and if Mechelen stay up by a point, I’m sure their fans would’ve taken that before kick off!

I think because nobody wants to capitalise on Brugge’s lack of wins, as it always has been, the league is theirs to lose because if Gent aren’t winning either, that eleven point gap just isn’t getting smaller. At least we have a fascinating relegation tussle, which Mechelen are literally winning on points, and an exciting battle for the top six, which if you remember, I had Antwerp and Beveren squeaking it, but nobody literally knows what will happen as every week you can’t call it in the Pro League. I LOVE IT.

Posted in Matches in Brief

What’s Going On?!?

So far this weekend every match has either been a draw, or settled by a singular goal where relating to my post this week, have the top teams bottled it? Club Brugge and Anderlecht, again, didn’t win and this should be worrying. Anderlecht just aren’t good enough and Brugge conceded two goals again in the league. Defences win you titles and Club Brugge’s is costing them theirs right now.

Full credit to Genk though. Not many teams go to the Jan Breydel and get anything, but to take the lead and then get a draw in adversity, they’re certainly getting better as we edge towards that 30th match. Hans Vanaken is Blauw-Zwarts hero again, scoring 5 in his last 6. From what I’ve read, it was pretty even. Leko needs to sort things out and tighten up.

Even though Brugge haven’t been great, Anderlecht have been worse. Bust ups, fans smoking out the Stayen, winter transfer signings already consigned to the bench, even Chuba Akpom scores! Either STVV know how to beat Les Mauves or the champions aren’t doing things right, or both. Full credit to Sint-Truiden though for not only winning, but keeping a clean sheet. Losing Hanni is as bad as we all thought. I keep saying though that the positive is the youth players getting minutes this season under Vanhaezebrouck.

Now. In the grand scheme of things, Antwerp’s season has been magnificent. You can’t question them at all. However, can you question their mentality at the crunch? A 0-0 at home against Oostende isn’t usually a bad result, but the way this season has gone, it actually isn’t a great result. Super result for the Seasiders as they’re keeping clean sheets and gaining points. If Zinho Gano was getting more minutes, they could be more dangerous, but this is a good draw, which could prove costly to Antwerp?

Game of the weekend (so far) saw Eupen battle and take a 2-0 lead, including a fine strike from Mamadou Kone who looks really good. What if the Pandas had him from day one? However, another fine African striker in Harbaoui showed his class and experience and is making a fool out of Vanhaezebrouck, A FOOL I TELLS YA, by scoring a brace, before a free kick from Hamalainen sealed this one. Eupen have been pretty good defensively under Makélélé, but really let themselves go here at the Regenboogstadion, as Essevee secure safety. Who’d have thought I’d say that this season?

Kortrijk round us off with a vital 1-0 win for De Kerels and obviously, Chevalier is the hero. Lokeren just can’t get their home form together whereas Kortrijk have gone up to 5th! Amazing turnaround under De Boeck. It shows that a decent defence and a potent attack can get you anywhere in Belgium. Could be a memorable one at the Guldensporen this year!?!

Posted in Matches in Brief

More Change in Belgium

This weekend will see yet another new face in a dugout around the Pro League. The other day Mouscron saw the back of Mircea Rednic and almost immediately hired Frank Defays. Obviously I don’t know all the goings on at these Belgian clubs. I’m not even in the country! But I felt it was unfair to let the Romanian go unless the board wanted an answer on a new deal and were tired of waiting for his answer? Still, the new man has more time as his new side don’t kick a ball in anger under his new’ regime’ until Sunday night.

For me, that match is a freebie because although REM haven’t been amazing for about four months, and their fans would love a win, along with the manager and players, they’re up against a very good Beveren side who don’t surprise me anymore when they get a good victory at home, or away. Looking at the other fixtures though, there aren’t many where the fans would be happy with defeat. I’ll say Mouscron won’t be happy, but they’ll hardly be devastated as they’ll hope for simply progression and fight, liked they showed against Standard last weekend.

I’m sure if I had to pick teams who’d maybe ‘need’ a win more than want one, honestly, some are more in need. Antwerp would love a victory as they’re beginning to slowly slide towards seventh. A lot of teams in the top six have hit a wall in my opinion, with the exception of Gent and Genk. But The Great Old definitely have, with Genk overtaking them and Kortrijk, Standard and Beveren circling beneath them, ready to get any scraps. STVV’s top six dreams look to have ended though as they face Anderlecht tonight where I think Vanhaezebrouck would relish three points. I didn’t think Oostende would win at all last week and pleasantly surprised me. A falling out with Deschacht seems to be the topic of discussion this week which may deflect away from Les Mauves deficiencies on the pitch. Sint Truiden would also love a win, but I just feel that they’ve lost all chance of getting back into the top six, although their valiant performance all season has been great.

Eupen and Mechelen are still in a desperate state as either hope to claw their way closer to safety. Its now De Kakkers who have the upper hand after a vital win over their relegation rivals last weekend. Going to Gent and scoring however is almost as difficult as getting a win altogether. Gent are the best team in the league in my opinion right now, and I just can’t see them losing to anyone, even with Kalinic injured. Zulte Waregem take on Eupen at the Regenboogstadion in the hope of getting as high up the table as possible. Eupen will firstly hope to be good defensively, but Essevee have Harbaoui who has been brilliant since coming in on loan and maybe embarrassing Vanhaezebrouck a bit as he needs a half decent striker at Anderlecht right now.

The top two have extremely tough games with Brugge hosting Genk and Charleroi welcoming Standard. Both away teams have been outstanding this year and of course will be facing each other in the Croky Cup final next month. The top two have only won one league game each this year, which maybe proves my point of teams hitting a wall. Genk are awesome away though in comparison to their home form, and Standard aren’t as good away as they are at home. Of course, Clement is also going back, again, to Brugge and to see his friend Ivan Leko. I still think the home sides will win, but I’ve thought this nearly all year so my opinion means nothing.

And finally… Lokeren , who are just no good at the Daknam, take on a superb Kortrijk side with THE in form striker in Teddy Chevalier. Away win written all over this for me, but as I said earlier, I thought Anderlecht would win against a struggling side last week and I was wrong.

Another major week in Belgian football where goalkeepers seemed to be the topic of discussion, with Penneteau and Kalinic out, Van Crombrugge saying he’s leaving at the end of the season and who’ll start in goal for Club Brugge and Anderlecht?