Seraing vs Royal Antwerp
Friday 11th February – 7:45PM KO
Second-bottom Seraing play host to second-placed Antwerp in our Friday night Pro League fixture at the Stade du Pairay. Antwerp are still in the hunt for the title, although Union Saint-Gilloise remain comfortably ahead of The Reds by a margin of 10 points. Brian Priske’s side will know they cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to maintain any kind of serious title challenge here, especially not away to one of the league’s worst sides.
Seraing come into this tough fixture having lost three of their last five home games, including losing 4-0 and 5-0 to Union and Anderlecht. They have managed a win and a draw, but these were against bottom-of-the-table Beerschot and out of form Eupen, and were not unexpected.
Seraing concede 1.62 goals per game from an xGA of 1.33, so we can expect Antwerp to get on the scoresheet, while Seraing have failed to score in 46% of their games, and have found the back of the net just three times in their last nine Pro League games.
They have lost all their games against the current top-4, both home and away and have just two home wins against top-half opposition all season. They are also missing centre-back Benjamin Boulenger through suspension, and their replacements are not exactly convincing.
Antwerp meanwhile have not failed to score on the road all season, and they have the second-best away record of any team in the league, averaging an impressive 2 points per game. They may have been beaten last time out by Union Saint-Gilloise but there is no shame in that, and they will be keen to get back to winning ways and maintain second place in the table.
They have won all four games they have played against the current bottom-three and I’m confident that despite a few injuries, they will make it five out five come the full-time whistle in Seraing.
Prediction: Antwerp to Win, 1.85 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Eupen vs Gent
Saturday 12th February – 3:15PM KO
Despite a couple of draws in recent weeks, Eupen’s catastrophic second-half of the season form shows no signs of turning around any time soon. Their impressive run to the semi-final of the Belgian Cup may be to blame for this slump in form, and with a second leg against Anderlecht to come next month, you can understand players’ attention being diverted away from the Pro League campaign.
Opponents Gent are also in the semi-finals of the cup, and though their form has not been amazing by any stretch of the imagination, it is far better than that of their hosts.
The Pandas of Eupen have conceded in all but one home game this season, that single clean sheet coming against rock-bottom Beerschot. They concede an enormous 1.75xGA at home, conceding 11 in 6 games, and allowing their opponents to score at least twice in all of their last four home games so Gent can be confident of scoring in this one.
They are rock bottom of the form table, taking two points from a possible 18, and will likely be missing centre-back Jordi Amat Mass who will be replaced either by Teddy Alloh, who has made one start all season, or Andreas Beck who is a defensive midfielder by trade.
Gent will certainly fancy their chances heading to the Kehrwehgstadion, and with their record of scoring 1 goal a game away from home, whilst creating 1.64xG, the third-highest amount in the Pro League, showing they should be capable of scoring many more if they can take their chances.
They should have no trouble creating here against such a poor defence, and having scored in four of their last five away from home, they will be confident of taking all three points back to Ghent.
Prediction: Gent to Win, 1.73 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
KV Mechelen v Oostende
Saturday 12th February – 5:30PM KO
With two games in hand and a four point cushion to Cercle Brugge in ninth, Mechelen look relatively secure in the second group of play-off positions, while a recent run of two draws and a win in their last four games has allowed Oostende to climb away from the relegation play-off spot and move up the table.
These are two sides with contrasting styles to say the least, whereas no side outside the top four has scored more than Mechelen this season, Oostende hold the unwanted record of scoring the fewest goals of any team not in the relegation zone.
Mechelen have scored in 85% of their games at home this season, finding the net twice or more in 69%, an impressive return. They average two goals a game in Mechelen, and have won three of their last five, drawing one and losing the other; the loss coming in a tight game against fourth-placed Anderlecht.
They are fifth in the Pro League form table, with four wins and two losses in six games, failing to score just once, in that close 1-0 loss to Anderlecht. They score more and concede less at home than they do on the road, and have the luxury of being able to call upon three different players with seven or more goals to their name in the league this season, Nikola Storm, Kerim Mrabti and Hugo Cuypers.
Meanwhile, the side from Ostend have lost twice in their last five away games, both to upper-mid-table sides (like Mechelen) in Charleroi and Kortrijk. They have failed to score in half of their away games this season, and have conceded an average of 1.42 goals on the road. They tend to set up defensively and look to take a point in most games on the road.
In contrast to Mechelen’s range of scorers, they have just one player with more than five goals to his name, 11-goal Makhtar Gueye. Their overreliance on one man to provide the majority of their goals is one of the main reasons why only the two sides in the relegation zone, Seraing and Beerschot, have failed to score more often than Oostende this season.
Overall, it seems highly likely that Mechelen will pick up all three points, but Oostende can be stubborn and have proven capable of nicking points off the bigger sides when they have managed to dig in successfully, so a Draw No Bet selection seems to be the safer option here.
Prediction: KV Mechelen Draw No Bet, 1.36 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
OH Leuven vs Cercle Brugge
Saturday 12th February – 5:30PM KO
With both sides chasing the final play-off position, this clash promises to be an intriguing affair between two sides who have been much improved in recent weeks. Leuven had an underwhelming return to Pro League football from the winter break, managing to lose 3-1 to Beerschot, but since then are unbeaten in three games, winning two and drawing the other.
Cercle meanwhile have been fantastic under Dominik Thalhammer, but after seven wins in eight, they have not won either of their last two games, and could be starting to run out of steam. I wouldn’t like to pick a winner here, but I do think goals are definitely on the cards for both sides.
Leuven have scored in four of their last five games at Den Dreef, scoring 1.27 goals per game on average, while conceding 1.55 goals per game. They have kept a clean sheet at home just 18% of the time, whilst failing to score only 18% of the time. Overall then, Both Teams to Score has landed in 73% of their home games this season, and would’ve been a successful bet in five of their last six.
Cercle have posted similar figures to Leuven on the road, scoring 1.62 goals away from home on average, and conceding 1.15 goals. They have scored in every single away game this season, an impressive feat, especially when considering just how poor their form was in the first few months of 2021/22.
Both Teams to Score has landed in 69% of their away games, and though they have kept a good number of clean sheets this season, they have managed just one in their last four, and that was away at Anderlecht where they had a man advantage for 65 minutes.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score – Yes, 1.6 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Zulte-Waregem vs Anderlecht
Saturday 12th February – 7:45PM KO
The final Saturday Pro League game has the potential to be very high-scoring, with two of the most entertaining teams to watch in the league facing off at the Regenboogstadion in Waregem. Fourth-placed Anderlecht have scored 56 goals this season, second only to league leaders Union, whereas the hosts have scored more times than any side outside the top-8 positions, with 36, and no side has conceded more than the 54 goals that Louis Bostyn and Sammy Bossut have had to pick out of their own net between them.
Waregem’s fans won’t be pleased with their league position, just one place above the relegation play-off spot, however, they can’t claim to not be entertained this season, with games at Den Dreef seeing a ridiculous 3.83 goals per game on average. Waregem score 1.50 goals per game, with their opponents contributing the other 2.33.
Both Teams to Score has landed 75% of the time here, with the hosts keeping a clean sheet in just one game all season in front of their own fans. They have managed to score in 75% of their home fixtures, and similarly 75% of these games have seen over 2.5 goals land. In fourteen games against top-half opposition, over 2.5 has landed 12 times. In both games where over 2.5 didn’t land, the game finished 2-0.
Anderlecht meanwhile average 3 goals per game away from home, scoring 2 per game and conceding 1. They have conceded in 69% of their away games, and scored in 77%. Their last five games away from home have seen them score an enormous 17 goals, and they have scored twice or more in over half of their games on the road this season.
In 14 games against bottom-half opposition, over 2.5 goals has landed nine times, including in all five games played against the current bottom-4, including their previous game against the Essevee. Four of the five games in which over 2.5 didn’t land saw two goals.
This has the potential to be the game of the weekend in the Pro League, and hopefully both teams will really go for it as we know they like to, leaving plenty of spaces in behind for the opposition to exploit.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.53 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
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