http://www.benefoot.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/defourarrive-1050x500.jpg

JPL Round 4 Preview: Not quite round De-Four

Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz – Standard Liège
Club Brugge – Cercle Brugge

KV Kortrijk – Racing Genk
KV Oostende – KV Mechelen
Charleroi – Waasland-Beveren
Lokeren – Lierse

KAA Gent – Zulte Waregem
Westerlo – Anderlecht

Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz – Standard Liège

We have two games today as it’s a holiday in Belgium and the round kicks off with Standard’s trip to Mouscron. Guy Luzon has once again pledged to rotate his squad with a view to next week’s Champions League qualifier with Zenit. Ronnie Stam, Mehdi Carcela, Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, Adrian Trebel and Julien De Sart are all out. Tony Watt returns to the squad and is likely to start on the bench while there’s also a place for newcomer Jeff Louis. RMP are high on confidence after four points from two games and Rachid Chihab is only missing Sven Dhoest who has yet to play. It’s worth noting that when Standard took on Kortrijk in similar circumstances, it took the introduction of van Damme and Bia at the break to get them going and even then they just about got over the line.

Prediction: Gary – 0-1, Luke – 1-2

Club Brugge – Cercle Brugge

It’s derby day in Brugge and Michel Preud’homme will feel emboldened despite a draw in Waregem last week. A Lestienne goal was wrongly ruled out and the master coach welcomes back Oscar Duarte, while Vadis Odjidja played 90 minutes on Monday in a 10-1 win for the reserves against Standard. Lior Refaelov is missing but with the Europa League play-off away to Grasshopper almost a week away, Club will be looking to go up a gear or two against their rivals. Cercle coach Lorenzo Staelens has everyone available against his old side and once again we’re eager to see how Stipe Bacelic-Grgic but Groen-Zwart will find it tough against the best defence in the league.

Prediction: Gary – 3-0, Luke – 2-0

KV Kortrijk – Racing Genk

At one point last week, it looked as if Yves Vanderhaeghe was going to have to wait still longer for his first win as Kortrijk boss but his side turned it around against Mechelen. Croatian winger Adam Marusic is getting into his stride but nevertheless there are still question marks against the defence. The squad has been boosted with defender Anthony van Loo and midfielder Lukas van Eenoo. Influential trio Matton, De Smet and Capon are joined on the sidelines by Maxine Chanot. Racing Genk received a blow during the week with the news that Frank Vercauteren will not be returning after all. Last week’s draw with Lokeren was a forgettable encounter but Jelle Vossen has now had some first-team game time under his belt.

Prediction: Gary – 2-1, Luke – 1-1

KV Oostende – KV Mechelen

De Kustboys got their first win of the season last weekend with a 0-1 win away to Cercle courtesy of Franck Berrier, which was just the sort of boost Frédéric Vanderbiest was looking for. John Jairo Ruiz showed that he can be one of the most dangerous wide players in the league this season and expect his form to be a barometer of how KVO go this term. Mechelen have twice thrown away leads, which coach Aleksandar Jankovic puts down to a lack of maturity. Although Steven De Petter is suspended, the return of Sheldon Bateau is a boost.

Prediction: Gary – 2-1, Luke – 2-1

Charleroi – Waasland-Beveren

Les Zèbres are the only side yet to put at least a point on the board and this represents their best chance to turn their poor start around. They were by no means outplayed in Brussels last week with Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto claiming the visitors were the better team. Christophe Diandy is out but Felice Mazzu has seen encouraging signs from the likes of Tainmont, Ndongala, Kitambala and Faure going forward. Waasland-Beveren stopped Westerlo’s winning run in getting off the mark themselves last time out and have made a canny signing in Croatian striker Ante Vukusic on loan but he won’t debut this weekend. Ibou and Destorme are doubts for Ronny van Geneugden’s men.

Prediction: Gary 1-0, Luke 1-0

Lokeren – Lierse

Perhaps last week’s point in Genk was a missed opportunity for Peter Maes but there is a feel-good factor about Lokeren right now. They have just signed striker Mbaye Leye on a free transfer as well as versatile forward Besart Abdurahimi and midfielder Evariste Ngolook to add depth to the squad. Sporting also face Premier League outfit Hull City in the Europa League next Thursday. Dutra is not yet fully fit so Leye’s experience will be welcome. Lierse rescued a point at home to RMP having given up a 1-0 lead. In-form striker Alhassane Keita has been batting the flu all week and misses out, which is a big blow for Stanley Menzo’s men so Apostolos Vellios will have to step up.

Prediction: Gary – 2-1, Luke 3-2

KAA Gent – Zulte Waregem

De Buffalo’s went on a rampage two weeks ago in the second half against Mechelen and then took advantage of a weak Standard to win at Sclessin. Things are thus looking up for the ambitious club but there is still work to do as while they won in Sclessin, they almost managed to squander their superiority. The Belgian tabloids claim to have uncovered the secret to Laurent Depoître’s success (you can well guess!) and he will again lead the line with David Pollet a doubt while Yaya Soumahoro is a loss. Essevee have had a real topsy-turvy start and it’s never dull watching Francky Dury’s men who have signed midfielder Mohamed Messoudi. He was sacked by OH Leuven after punching a fellow player. Steve Colpaert is not yet fully fit after his concussion but in Glynor Plet and Idrissa Sylla, Zulte Waregem are a threat going forward.

Prediction: Gary – 2-2, Luke 2-1

Westerlo – Anderlecht

The champions have broken the Belgian transfer record for the second successive summer by signing Steven Defour from FC Porto for an initial €6m but despite les Mauve et Blanc’s best efforts, he is not yet eligible to play and nor is he match fit. Besnik Hasi sees the ex-Standard captain as the man to inject some much-needed quality and leadership to a midfield that is struggling to assert dominance against some pretty modest opposition so far this season. Aleksandar Mitrovic is carrying the team with his three league goals. Westerlo dropped points for the first time last week and are again without Sno, MacDonald and Cools but welcome back Annys and Lecomte for a match to be played in a sold out Kuipje.

Prediction: Gary – 0-2, Luke 1-3




There are no comments

Add yours