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.