To end the year, another nice game is on the menu. After all, the men from ’t stad have never come to win at Kuipje. Hopefully, our Kemphans can continue this tradition and end the year in beauty.
After the resounding victory against Ostend – six weeks ago – we pick up the thread today. In the meantime, some holidays and a 12-day internship in Antalya were on the cards.
During the WC-break we played four practice matches (Basaksehir, Besiktas, STVV and Charleroi) resulting in 3 defeats and 1 draw. Fortunately, the result is of less importance in a practice match.The good news to pick up is the return of our kapi Lukas Van Eenoo. He was out since the end of August and after his Achilles tendon operation, he has been back on the pitch since the winter break and is ready to lead the Westel troops.
For the rest, our Kempen is doing itself all credit: it is quiet. On the site, however, work is in full swing on the construction of a new base-camp, on the sporting front everything is running smoothly for now and coach Jonas De Roeck hopes to continue the positive vibe of the outward round. Apart from the long-term injured Jan Bernat and Erdon Daci, everyone is selectable.
Royal Antwerp FC
Just before the winter break, Antwerp’s engine sputtered. After a great start with 27 on 27, an 8 on 24 followed. The last league win even dates back to 20 October, when they sent Oostende 3-0 back towards the coast. Last week, though, they were in the eighth finals of the Belgian Cup and Standard took a beating (4-0).
The country’s oldest club dispatched three players during the recent World Cup in Qatar. Defenders Toby Alderweireld, Willian Pacho and striker Vincent Janssen thus spent some time on the Persian Gulf. Toby played 90 minutes three times, Vincent Janssen was a base player in the Netherlands’ first game against Senegal and then got one substitute against Qatar and Willian Pacho had to be content with a place on the Ecuadorian substitutes’ bench three times.
In the Antwerp camp, several players were unavailable: defenders English and Vines, midfielders Yusuf, Haroun, Nainggolan and Gerkens and finally wingers Balikwisha and Miyoshi. Scott also dropped out after 11 minutes in the match against Standard. Despite those injuries, they can still field a nice eleven and youngster Arthur Vermeeren was one of the standouts in midfield in their recent cup match.
Squad against Standard: Butez, De Laet, Alderweireld, Pacho, Bataille, Vermeeren, Ekkelenkamp, Stengs, Scott, Valencia and Frey.
The 34-year-old Flemish-Brabander is designated to travel down to Kuipje. It will be his tenth game of the season in the Jupiler Pro League. He was also the referee last week in the top match Genk-Anderlecht in the BVB . With this match added, Antwerp will become, along with Eupen, the club he has already refereed the most (23). For Westerlo, he has only been in action 5 times. Three defeats and two draws were noted here.
Text and statistics: Peter Boons