The weekend’s big game sees 2nd-place Gent up against 3rd-place Anderlecht. Francky Dury’s Gent are on the crest of a wave, having won their last five games in all competitions. Dury made his name at Zulte Waregem and is certainly one for the future. He’s getting results at Gent and has managed to convince the players that he’s a worthy successor to Michel Preud’homme. Anderlecht will still be without Mbark Boussoufa and experience has shown that without the little playmaker, the champions struggle. On the plus side, Lucas Biglia is back in the squad, as is Jan Polak.
Club Brugge lost in the cup in mid-week and haven’t won any of their last three league games. The fans are not happy and about 50 of them managed to disrupt a ‘behind closed doors’ training session yesterday. Club Brugge coach Adrie Koster has stopped reading press reports but if a home game against lowly Lierse does not produce three points, the end could come sooner rather than later. Standard Liege visit Germinal Beerschot and with the return of Steven Defour, there should be three points for Liege. That’s if their leaky defence holds up, and the return of Laurent Ciman should help there.
Leaders Genk have not won any of their last three games and will be hoping to fare better against Cercle Brugge. Bob Peeter’s team have lost two games on the trot and are not great travellers. A worry for Genk coach Franky Vercauteren, and for national boss Georges Leekens, is that Jelle Vossen’s goals have completely dried up.
Bottom club Charleroi – where chairman Abbas Bayat has denied rumours about a takeover by an English consortium – welcome Westerlo and as they have not won a game since beating (then) bottom club Eupen in August, they can’t be too confident. Westerlo will be without Wouter Corstjens, banned for three matches.
Other games see Lokeren, heading for the top five, play St Truiden, Eupen welcome KV Mechelen and, on Sunday night, Hugo Broos’ Zulte-Waregem pitted against Kortrijk.