After the mature win against the Canaries, another duel between 2 yellow and blue clubs is on the program.
It will also be a game with 2 teams wanting to play football. Union have simply continued their momentum from last season this season and are now laying the fire to Genk. We are betting on a spectacle match, spiced with some goals.
The 3 points at Stayen, meant another good step towards retention. This still remains our Kemphans’ main objective for this season. This mission has almost succeeded. The gap with third last currently stands at 17 points, with 24 points still to be shared in the regular league.
There was no real spectacle last Sunday, but there was maturity to bring a difficult game to a successful conclusion, resulting in an eighth clean-sheet.
Coach De Roeck was forced to replace Ravil Tagir – slightly ill -. Pietro Perdichizzi showed that he is ready when you need him.
The surprise in the starting line-up was that of Muhammed “Mami” Gümüskaya. For the number 17, it was only the second time he was allowed to start this season. In minute 70, he was replaced along with Nacer Chadli and Madsen and Nene entered the team. When you have 2 players like that on your bench, you can already speak of a bit of luxury.
If we start counting the points, from 2023, we see that we end up in fifth place. Genk, Union and Antwerp are all 3 outstanding, Charleroi then follow as fourth and then we come.
In the previous home games against a G6 team, we saw a lot of goals. We list them again: Standard (4-2), Anderlecht (2-1), Antwerp (3-3), Genk (2-3) and Gent (3-3). No fewer than 10 different players managed to score for us in those matches, with one name in particular standing out: Maxim De Cuyper with his 3 goals and 3 assists. Maxim, who is intensely followed by the new national coach Domenico Tedesco, told TV cameras only last week that he had not played his best game of the season, but that he was still happy he had been able to help the team by cashing in on the penalty kick.
Did you know?
– We only played our first game against each other in 2017, and that six years later we are already on our 21st mutual confrontation, of which we have only managed to win four, including two meetings at the Kuipje
– Jonas De Roeck is in the select group of coaches who have not yet lost to Karel Geraerts. He shares this honour with Hollerbach, Hoefkens, Parker, Buijs and Vrancken.
– We are at the very top of the fair-play rankings as the best in the class?
Royale Union Saint-Gilles
Les Unionistes have been one of the best teams since their return to the top division. In two years, they barely lost a game and had the Play-Offs not existed, they became champions last season with a 5-point lead. Despite that bash, they are just continuing on their momentum this year.
Karel Geraerts started his first assignment as T1 this year, having previously worked in the shadow of Elsner, Christiansen and Mazzu. He has already passed with highest distinction:
Karel Geraerts started his first assignment as T1 this year, having previously worked in the shadow of Elsner, Christiansen and Mazzu. He has already passed with highest distinction: Semi-final of BVB, in March they are in the eighth finals of the Europa League and in their own league they are the closest pursuer of Genk.
Wonderful performance from a team that also always wants to play football and assumes their own strength.
The last time they lost on loan was 6 months ago! Then Antwerp was too strong for them (4-2). This was followed by 12 wins and 2 draws.
They are also known for their virile football. Their players have been shown a yellow card 66 times, which makes them the worst in the league. By the way, central defender Siebe Van Der Heyden already saw his tenth yellow card and is suspended for Saturday.
Did you know?
– With Senne Lynen (2009-2012) and Yorbe Vertessen (2006-2009) there are two players in the core who played in Westerlo’s youth team.
– They score most of their goals in the last quarter of the game. No less than 34% of their 53 goals fell then.
– They were the best team in Belgium before World War II, when they were champions no fewer than 11 times.
The Walloon-Brabander, who made his debut in professional football in 2009, is one of our most experienced referees.
Saturday will be his 381st match. For Westerlo it will be his 21st appearance and for the guests from Brussels it will be the 7th match.
Both teams achieved positive results with him. Union even slightly better than the Kemphans, as they never lost a game under his guidance.
It will be the 13th time he will whistle a match at the Kuipje. This season, he has already hosted us twice: Zulte Waregem (2-0) and KRC Genk (2-3).
Text and statistics: Peter Boons