Royal Antwerp v KV Mechelen
Sunday 20th February – 12:30PM KO
Our first Pro League game on Sunday sees second-placed Royal Antwerp facing off against Mechelen. The side from Antwerp have been in great form lately, and though they were beaten 2-0 by league leaders Union two weeks ago, they were able to return to winning ways despite being down to 10-men last week against Seraing. With Union being beaten last weekend the gap is back down to seven points, and with that gap about to be halved ahead of the play-offs, Antwerp know every point they can claw back will be crucial, especially with games against Brugge and Anderlecht coming up.
Mechelen meanwhile are looking quite secure in the second set of play-off positions, and could potentially push towards the top-4 with a good run to close out the season. They had won three in a row but were soundly beaten by Genk in midweek, and the side from East Belgium are now just one point behind De Kakkers.
This game looks like it might be beyond Mechelen. Despite placing well overall, they have struggled against the best sides in the division, playing five of the teams in the top-half away from home, winning just one and losing the other four. They have conceded 15 goals in these five matches.
Their away form is particularly poor, being the second-worst in the entire division. They have taken just 13 points from 12 games on the road, impressively low for a side in the play-offs. Their last five games away from home have seen them lose four times, conceding 13 goals, and they have only managed two clean sheets in their 12 away matches.
Antwerp meanwhile have lost only once in their seven home games against sides in the top-half, beating Anderlecht, Gent and Charleroi to nil already this season at the Bosuilstadion. They have failed to score in just two of their 13 home games, and currently average a shade under two goals per game on their own patch, at 1.92 per 90.
Overall, 1.8 seems to be great value for one of the best sides in the division facing off, at home, against the second-worst performing side away from home in the Pro League.
Prediction: Antwerp to Win, 1.8 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Eupen v Club Brugge
Sunday 20th February – 3:00PM KO
Following on from second-place in our first game is third-placed Club Brugge away at Eupen. Eupen had spent most of the first half of the season in amongst the play-off positions, even being top of the table as late as matchday 10, but they are now just four points above the relegation play-off in 15th place. The current champions Brugge have been consistently in and around the top of the table but have struggled to mount a consistent challenge to Union in first place.
Despite their slight inconsistency, this does appear to be a pretty easy to call game. Eupen are now winless in eight games, including five games in the league and the cup at home, scoring just 2 goals in those five games, whilst conceding 11. Brugge by contrast have only lost one of their last five away from home, and are now unbeaten in three.
Eupen have kept only one clean sheet in Pro League home games all season long, and they have the second-worst home form in the league, taking just 12 points from 13 games. They have played 10 games against the sides in the top-6, and have not won any, taking only 2 points from 30 available.
They will not be looking forward to facing the Blauw en Zwart, who have scored 1.69 goals per game at home this season, and only one side has been able to prevent them from scoring all game long. In 14 games against bottom-half sides, they have only lost once, and in their last 7 games they have also only lost once.
All in all, a Club Brugge win seems to be almost inevitable here, and with this being potentially the easiest game they have left in their run-in towards the play-offs, they really must take all 3 points here.
Prediction: Club Brugge to Win, 1.44 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Anderlecht v Genk
Sunday 20th February – 5:30PM KO
The pattern continues here with fourth-placed Anderlecht following the teams in second and third. They face what could potentially be a tough test against eighth-placed Genk, both sides are currently in the final position in their respective play-off groups, but will feel relatively secure. They both hold five point leads over the sides behind them, but they will know they need to minimise the points gap to the teams at the head of the play-off groups to give themselves the best chance.
Anderlecht are fantastic going forward, but their defence is very leaky considering their league position, and they have seen both sides scoring in an enormous 77% of home Pro League games this season, something no side in the division can top. They have scored in all but one home games, but they have also conceded in all but two games.
They have scored 2.31 goals per game at home, and conceded 1.38 per game also. Of their 10 games this season against top-half opposition, BTTS has landed in 7, and it has also landed in both of their last two games.
Genk meanwhile have also been similarly free-scoring this season, but have also struggled to keep clean sheets, managing just one all season away from the Luminus Arena. Their record of seeing both teams scoring in 69% of away games is only slightly lower than that of Anderlecht.
They have scored and conceded 1.69 goals per 90 minutes away from home, and have scored in all but three of their matches on the road. In 14 matches against top-half opposition, 9 of these have seen both sides scoring, and BTTS has landed in 3 of their last 5 away.
Goals seem certain in this game, and with their recent record of both sides scoring in four of the previous five games between these two sides alongside the frequency with which both teams have seen BTTS land this season, it would be a real surprise if this were not to come in on Sunday evening
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Sint-Truiden v OH Leuven
Sunday 20th February – 8:00PM KO
The final game of the Pro League weekend is a mid-table affair, with OH Leuven visiting Sint-Truiden. Leuven are an interesting team, now being just five points off the play-offs despite having made it to 13 games through the season winning just two games. They are now unbeaten in four, winning all of their last three games however, and have become the latest team to push towards the play-offs from the bottom-half after stringing a few good results together.
Sint-Truiden meanwhile have been fairly consistently mid-table all season, remaining between 9th and 16th from matchday 3 onwards. Despite not pulling up trees, they are fairly consistent scorers and have picked up the odd surprise result against the top sides. They average over a goal per game at home, and have conceded around 1.54 goals per game.
Sint-Truiden have kept only one clean sheet all season, whilst scoring in 85% of their home games. They have seen BTTS land in 77% of their home games, including in 8 of their last 10, with the home side getting on the scoresheet in one of the remaining two.
Leuven meanwhile have seen more games with both teams scoring than any other, with 77% of all their Pro League games resulting in BTTS landing. They have remarkably similar stats to Sint-Truiden, keeping just one clean sheet on the road, and scoring in all but two of their away games. In 10 of their last 11 games away from home, both sides have found the back of the net. They both score and concede roughly 1.5 goals per 90 minutes.
Overall, again goals seem certain in this game, with both sides consistently able to find the back of the net, but struggling massively to protect their own. I would be extremely surprised to not see this selection land, and 1.62 is a very reasonable price considering the likelihood of both sides being able to score.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.62 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
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