With Club Brugge and Gent both winning during the week, those two clubs remain at the top of the table with Anderlecht slipping back. With five games left, the league now looks like a two-horse race but
Anderlecht have three home games in their last four so can’t be written off. Standard Liege are now officially in crisis after losing at Kortrijk – four defeats in five matches.
Club Brugge: One defeat in five games, at Kortrijk. The club has done well to stay in the lead considering their involvement in the Europa League. They have tremendous staying power, exemplified by veteran Timmy Simons. Michel Preud’homme has coped well with injuries and used his bench effectively.Gent: Officially, they say they are aiming for third place but if they keep winning, they will do better. Only one defeat – at Charleroi – and, like Club Brugge, they never stop trying. Striker Laurent Depoitre is having an excellent season at his first ‘big’ club.
Anderlecht: They should have more points than they have – missed chances, poor defending and some decisions have gone against them. They’ve looked better with Chancel Mbemba and Youri Tielemans but they rely too much on Alexsander Mitrovic. They also can’t defend against set pieces and have a major problem at full back.
Charleroi: A surprise packet. Felice Mazzu is showing himself to be a top coach of the future and in Neeskens Kebano they have an exceptional talent. Les Carolos are still in the running for third place, which would be remarkable.
Kortrijk: Yves Vanderhaeghe is another coach doing a fine job. With good wins against Club Brugge and
Standard, they are over-achieving in the playoffs. Ivan Santini has been grabbing the goals but in reality it’s another team without star names.
Standard: A total disaster. They beat Anderlecht and immediately the talk was of the title. Since then, Standard have suffered three defeats. The squad is of poor quality and Jose Riga has done nothing to justify his return in February. Heads will roll.
This weekend: Standard-Club Brugge; Kortrijk-Gent; Charleroi-Anderlecht.
Last results: Kortrijk 3 Standard 1; Gent 2 Anderlecht 1; Club Brugge 3 Charleroi 1.
Standings: Club Brugge 41, Gent 39, Anderlecht 35, Kortrijk 33, Charleroi 32, Standard 30.
Men of the playoffs so far: Michel Preud’homme and Hein Vanhaezebrouck.
Mitrovic (Anderlecht) 17; Emond (Beveren) 14; Santini (Kortrijk) 14.
Refaelov (Club Brugge) 11; Chevalier (Kortrijk), Patosi (Lokeren), Vazquez (Club Brugge) 10.