OH Leuven v Union Saint-Gilloise
This weekend, OHL returns to action in the Pro League. After an excellent start to the season, Union will be their opponents on Saturday. Like OHL, last season’s revelation, Union, are doing well and currently sit just one point behind the side from Leuven.
OHL and Union have positioned themselves as candidates for the top 4, which guarantees a chance to fight for the championship in the play-offs at the end of the season. Moreover, they are known for their attractive football. They both play skilled football and try to play on the front foot. Union has the slight advantage in this match, due to a slight advantage in power in the midfield area, with a fit Teuma and Lapoussin.
In preseason, OHL were unlucky. Their best player of last season, Keita, dropped out with a foot injury at the beginning of the preparation in early July. A rehabilitation of 3 months was expected, but he appears to be returning sooner. His injury has healed faster than expected and he was in full training in recent days. He has also already played a few minutes in a practice match against PSV. Keita should already be available against Union this weekend, giving coach Marc Brys an extra option in attack.
OHL have failed to score in just two of the nine matchdays played. That was last week in the derby at Mechelen and against champions Club Brugge away. Union have performed even better, playing 14 games in all competitions and failing to score only once; on August 6 at KV Mechelen, a game scheduled between their Champions League qualification duels with Glasgow Rangers which they heavily rotated for.
So, for this clash on Saturday, the most logical option is to go for both teams scoring.
Oostende v Genk
After nine matchdays, it already seems clear who will be playing for prizes in the Jupiler Pro League this season and who will have to fight against relegation. The latter battle will be extra tough, as three teams drop to 1B this season to return to a total of 16 clubs in next seasons top-flight. Among others, KV Oostende seems to be facing a difficult season. It will be difficult to pick up points against this Genk side, which could allow the competition to creep closer again.
Oostende may have to miss another important player this weekend. It is highly uncertain whether defender Fanos Katelaris will be ready to play for the clash against Genk. Katelaris has spent the past two weeks with the Cyprus national team, where he played against Kosovo and Greece. He only returns to Ostend on Friday, barely a day before Genk. As a result, it remains to be seen whether he will be fit to take part and Vanderhaeghe may therefore have to tinker with his defence as a result.
After the international break, coach Vranken hopes to continue the good results at KRC Genk. After all, with a total of 22 points out of 27, they have made an excellent start to the new season. And all that while last summer, especially in the offensive compartment, numerous stars left.
However, this season has seen the breakthrough of striker Mike Trésor, who already scored five goals, and midfielder Heynen. Both hoped for a selection for the Belgian national team, but that has not yet materialised. With their minds on the World Cup, they will have to keep proving themselves. Oostende have been warned.
Last season Genk won convincingly 0-4 and this season they seem to be in even better form. Oostende, on the other hand, will have to rise above themselves defensively to take points. At generous odds of 1.8, we are banking on a Genk victory.
Kortrijk v Royal Antwerp
KV Kortrijk started the season very poorly with just 7 points out of 27 and have already changed coaches in the meantime. This weekend they are playing host to runaway leaders Antwerp.
At KV Kortrijk, Karim Belhocine has since been replaced by Adnan Custovic, but the hoped-for new manager bounce has not yet occurred. Apart from a much-needed win at relegation candidate Eupen, the new coach could not yet gather any points.
Custovic’s approach is slightly more offensive than with the previous coach, which has allowed Kortrijk to score in the last three games. Unfortunately, at the back, there’s sometimes a lack of focus. That may well cost them dearly when leaders Antwerp visit. Custovic may start this match a little more cautious than usual, knowing that a draw would be a point gained rather than two points dropped.
Up front, Kortrijk are banking on the classy flashes of newcomer Lamkel Zé, who they know well enough at Antwerp. The ‘enfant terrible’ was put up for sale this summer after years of bad behaviour. With the World Cup in sight, the Cameroonian is now trying to get himself into the spotlight at Kortrijk. He will be keen to score against his ex-club.
Antwerp still have the maximum points after nine matchdays and are going for ten wins out of ten. Mark van Bommel’s squad core is almost fully fit. Up front, it can rely on two strong strikers, Janssen and Frey. Janssen has been called back to the Dutch team due to his good performance and was allowed to feature in the Nations League games against Poland and Belgium last week. Against Poland, he was good for an assist. He is expected in the starting line-up. Frey is doubtful with an injury.
Given the teams’ form, we give Antwerp a good chance to continue their winning run.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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