Anderlecht still going for the double

By | January 16, 2013

Kanu – not a crowd favourite but expected to replace Biglia in midfield tonight

Belgian football starts up again after the winter break tonight. It’s Cofidis Cup time with the return legs of the quarter finals. The top match is Anderlecht vs. Gent, where the score was 1-1 in the first leg. Anderlecht will be without several first choices: Dieumerci Mbokani (CAN), Guillaume Gillet (suspension), Cheikhou Kouyaté (minor operation) and Lucas Biglia (bad migraine).

Gent are a club in turmoil and tonight will be led by new coach Victor Fernandez. They’re expected to field a few new signings – permanent and on loan; these could include Ervin Zukanovic (from Kortrijk) at CB, the prodigal son Christophe Lepoint, David Hubert (from Genk) and Renato Neto (once with Cercle Brugge) in midfield. Personally, I will be interested in seeing what happens to new captain Hannes Van der Bruggen, just 19, with all these new arrivals. He’s a top prospect and it is to be hoped his career does not take a step backwards given the influx of new players. The weather might keep the fans away but it should be a good game and a surprise cannot be ruled out. The winners will meet Genk in the semi finals; the draw has already been made and Genk won 5-0 at Zulte Waregem in the quarter final first leg.

In the other half of the draw, Cercle Brugge (without Eidur Gudjohnsen who has defected – changed dressing rooms as the teams share a ground – to Club Brugge) will visit division 2 leaders Oostende. The first leg ended 2-1 for Cercle Brugge, who also have a fairly new coach in Foeke Booy, and it could be a difficult night for Cercle.

In the final match, Kortrijk will start favourites against second division Sint Truiden after a 0-0 draw in the first game. Sad fact of the night is that Bob Peeters has been sacked twice as a coach this season – by two of the quarter-finalists: Gent and Cercle Brugge. He’s unlikely to be watching any of the games on TV tonight.

Given the draw, an Anderlecht – Kortrijk final on May 9th is favourite but Gent might have other ideas.

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