Once again rave reviews in the various media. Our frisky Kemphans therefore delivered a collective top performance against one of the best teams in our league. A gem of a match, seasoned with attacking football, excitement and lots of goals, just as we had predicted. The next assignment also promises to bring spectacle again. The winner of this duel can already start dreaming of a ticket to PO2.
After a match, a “man of the match” is always chosen by the Pro League. This time, that honour went to Nacer Chadli. That choice must not have been easy, as all 11 Kempen players delivered a high-level performance.
Against Standard, goalkeeper Sinan Bolat will not be there, for the very first time this season. Referee Boucaut pulled out his yellow card 3 minutes before time and penalised Sinan for “time-wasting”. Immediately his fifth of the season and 1 suspension day on his shorts. The opportunity for Nick Gillekens to put on his gloves once more.
Nick already did so in the 2 Cup games (Aalst and Genk), but for a league game we already have to go back to April last year, when he took on Virton with Mouscron. By the way, he will make his debut in the Jupiler Pro League, as the past 87 games on his CV have all been achieved at the second level/cup competitions.
Max is on fire. Three league games in a row he has now scored. Against Union, it was even with a “Panenka”, that’s how confident he is at the moment. So he now joins Nene – also scored last weekend – and Foster in first place on our internal top shooters list. All have now been at the gun eight times.
It will be the 20th time in our history, that we descend to Sclessin /Maurice Dufrasnestadion. No less than 15 times the Kemphans stepped back onto the bus without any points and only once did they grab the full prize when Benji De Ceulaer scored the two goals that ensured victory in 2015.
Did you know?
- Our Kemphians are now 6 games unbeaten on away games. The last defeat dates back to 18 October 2022, when they lost by heavy 6-1 scores to Genk.
The media is pushing forward Ronny Deila, Standard’s Norwegian coach, as coach of the year. Because he still gets good results with a limited squad and saw 2 experienced players leave during the winter break. I do want to add that the starting line-up against Anderlecht was worth twice as much as the 11 Kemphians who kicked off against Union. Hello media? And our coach?
Probably captain Noë Dussenne – who had 1 week of mandatory yellow rest against Anderlecht – will take his place back in the centre of defence and relegate Melegoni to the bench.
Goalkeeper is Arnaud Bodart. He signed his first affiliation card at Standard as an 8-year-old and has since gone through all the youth series up to the first team, so he has been with the Liège club for 17 years. At the back, Deila invariably plays with three defenders. Apart from the returning Dussenne, Bokadi and Laifis will also be found there. By the way, Dussenne (last summer) and Laifis (in 2016) scored for Standard against Westerlo in a past game.
The flanks will be occupied by American Eagle Marlon Fossey and Norwegian Aaron Dönnum. Fossey stands out for his luxuriant head of hair and athletically he went through the youth series of Premier League club FC Fulham, before heading down to Belgium. Dönnum returned to Standard after the summer, having made a three-month jaunt to Norwegian first division side Valerenga.
In midfield, we currently find Bosnian Gojko Cimirot – with the club since 2018 – and Colombian Alzate – on loan from Brighton. The attacking trio also includes mostly the same names: Baliskwisha – recently included in Congo’s wide core -, Dane Zinckernagel – top shooter with 7 goals and then one can opt for the experienced Emond or youngster Ohio.
- Gilbert Bodart, Arnaud’s uncle, is still number one at the Rouches with the most games played. Between 1981 and 1996, it played no less than 438 games for the Liège side.
This 36-year-old West Fleming will be leading his 17th game in the league this season. Remarkably, this will be the first time for Westerlo. For Standard it will be the third time, twice in the league and once in the Cup. Each time they also lost with him: Seraing (0-2), Antwerp (4-1) and (4-0).
Digging deeper into the past, we see that we have had him three times. In 2016 (at home against Charleroi 0-0, in 2018 (at Beerschot 1-1) and in 2019 (at Charleroi 2-0).
Text and statistics: Peter Boons