As we all know in Belgium, there’s the same designated times each weekend for the matches that week. There’s the Friday night, early Saturday evening, 2 Saturday night with a later Saturday night, then the 3 staggered throughout the day on Sunday. I thought as a talking point, although no doubt brought up in Belgium, I’d see how teams actually performed on those days and who played on which days. Also as you’ll see, I’m basing this on English time!
I’ll immediately start with Zulte Waregem who hasn’t won a single point on the 7pm Sunday night fixture at all, until last weekend. Six matches and 1 point on the Sunday late kick off. People in England make a big deal on how Europa League football can disrupt your season. Goes to show the same happens in Belgium. Anderlecht on the other hand have never had the last match of a weekend and get the early evening fixture. Not too bad in performance, but they’ve never lost on a Friday or Saturday compared to a Sunday.
You can kind of see who the ‘unfashionable’ sides are in a way because Sint-Truiden, Beveren, Lokeren and Eupen usually kick off at 7pm on Saturdays. They’ve all played 8 times or more at that time throughout the season, and to be honest, it hasn’t been kind to any of them. No day is particularly good for Lokeren or Eupen, with STVV gaining more points on a Sunday per match compared to Saturday. Also, Beveren hadn’t played a Friday match until this Friday night against Standard Liège.
And leading into Liège, they only play on Fridays or Sundays. Les Rouches have only played one Saturday match all season, and that was 2 weeks ago which was a draw. Unbelievable really. Funny how teams seem to only play certain days. Same applies to Club Brugge who have played on a Sunday 13 times and have just dropped 4 points on those days.
Saturday is a good day for Charleroi, and a Friday for that matter, either winning or drawing on those days. However, Genk hate Saturdays, winning 1 in 11 on a Saturday, with just one Friday match too, losing that. As you go down the league on a Friday, there is a contrast of wins at the top, to losses at the bottom. One win out of the eight clubs in the bottom half who have played on a Friday, with Eupen not gracing a Friday so far.
What I have noticed is that, like most European leagues, that Sunday’s are ‘Box Office’ as in the top half of the table is littered with Sunday matches. Adding to this, I’m a firm believer kick off times aid in where a title will end up come May. Club Brugge either add pressure to those around them with an early Sunday kick off, or, they already know what to do by seeing how Charleroi had already performed. You can’t say the same with the bottom clubs as they seem to always kick off at the same time.
I regretted starting the research for this post after match day 3, but I’m genuinely fascinated how it’s shown when teams are playing at what times on which day. The only team I’m not surprised at is Zulte Waregem because of Europe, but when the top 8 and bottom 8 seem to play on certain days, you kind of know when and what time they’ll play if your a fan, unless you’re playing Standard or Brugge, which will be either a Friday or Sunday respectively.
To cap everyone else off out of respect, Gent are mixed to be fair, Mouscron enjoy the 7 o’clock kick off on either day, Oostende are as scatty on either day, Mechelen hate Fridays and don’t like Sundays, Kortrijk love a Saturday 7pm kick off slot, gaining every win at that time this season. And that’s that!