Playoff qualification going to the wire

By | February 23, 2018

Last night, Racing Genk defeated Royal Antwerp 4-0. The visitors widely criticised for physical play and questionable tactics. They were down to 10 men by half time.


Just three games to go in the JPL classic season and Playoff qualification is going to the wire. Three teams – Club Brugge, Charleroi and Anderlecht – have already confirmed their places but the remaining positions are up for grabs.

Gent look certain to qualify, given their program and recent form, and they may be able to relax on the final day of the season when they visit Genk. This should allow Philippe Clément’s men to qualify and they are hitting form at the right time.

Kortrijk also have a programme that should ensure qualification. Although they play the top two, both Club Brugge and Charleroi are playing as if they are waiting for the playoffs to start. Assuming Kortrijk also pick up three points against Zulte Waregem this weekend, they should make the grade, at the expense of Standard Liege.

Standard Liege have found form, despite some surprising team selections by Ricardo Sa Pinto, but they could run out of games. As for Royal Antwerp and Sint Truiden, I don’t see them getting close to qualification.

I expect Racing Genk, Kortrijk and Standard to all take seven points from the last three games, which would mean that the top six remain in the positions they occupy today. My one doubt is Waasland Beveren.

If they win their last three games – a tough call but two are at home – they could squeeze in at the expense of Racing Genk.

Finally, after the end of the Classic season, Genk play Standard in the Cup Final. If whoever wins also qualifies for the playoffs, we will be in the position where the competition could be falsified with the cup-winners taking their foot of the gas in some games with European qualification already assured.

But we are some way from that. This weekend’s game start with Racing Genk welcoming Royal Antwerp.

Key matches

Week 28
Racing Genk-Antwerp, Beveren-Gent, Standard-Club Brugge, Kortrijk-Zulte Waregem

Week 29
Club Brugge-Kortrijk, Standard-KV Mechelen, Gent-Oostende, Beveren-Racing Genk

Week 30
Racing Genk-Gent, Kortrijk-Charleroi, Oostende-Standard, KV Mechelen-Beveren

Current positions
Club Brugge 60, Charleroi 49, Anderlecht 46, Gent 44, Racing Genk 41*, Kortrijk 39, Royal Antwerp 38*, Standard 37, Sint Truiden 36, Waasland Beveren 35

* Played one game more.

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