Preview KVC Westerlo – KV Oostende
Our last 2 games both ended with a sour aftertaste. Anyone who follows our Kemphans will know why. Saturday will see the last game before the early winter break. Again, everyone knows why. For our boys, the opportunity to take a break with a good feeling.
Coach Jonas De Roeck gave some players some playing minutes in the midweek match against Genk. Nick Gillekens started his second game of the season – after having played the cup game against Aalst earlier – and Thomas Van Den Keybus made his first appearance since long. Perdichizzi, Gumuskaya, Chadli and Dierckx also joined the team compared to Union. So Bolat, Tagir, Akbunar, Fixelles, Jordanov and Foster were rested ahead of Westerlo’s more important home game against Ostend. Coach Vrancken of Genk stated after the cup game that Genk played its worst game of the season, to which our coach replied that it might have been because of the strength of our team.
Should we possibly add three points, we will finish the first round in seventh place with 26 points. If we could then get rid of our negative goal difference (-2), this would still be a very nice result as a promoter. The main objective still remains retention. We took a quick look at last season’s final standings and we see that the last three had scores of 32, 28 and 16 points. So final conclusion is well started, half won.
The coastal boys are currently 14th in the standings. A win at Kuipje would give them more breathing space. The gap with the last three is five points, deepen to eight and they too can loosen the tension belt for a while with a good feeling. Recently, they did change coaches. Yves Vanderhaeghe had to make way for Austrian Dominik Thalhammer. An old acquaintance at the Kuipje, as on matchday one he went down with another West Flanders team (Cercle Brugge) here by a 2-0 score. Thalhammer had only been at the KVO helm for 2 games, both games were won though. At home against Kortrijk it was 3-1 and they also made the cup this week, namely against Thes Sport (1-4).
The 2 players who score the most, Scottish Fraser Hornby and Ghanaian David Atanga barely make it to the first eleven in terms of playing minutes, so when they are on the field, they are very efficient. Who does have a lot of playing minutes is Anton Tanghe. At 23, he is the youngest captain in the Jupiler Pro League. Last week, Cameron McGeehan was the big man on the pitch. He managed to score twice against direct rival Kortrijk.
Nicolas Laforge will be the referee on duty. He was already here at the Kuipje once on matchday 12, that day we played 2-2 draw against Seraing. Remarkable here was that he only had to draw 1 yellow card in that match, as he had to show an average of 5.6 cards in his other 10 matches this season.
On 25 February 2017, he got to whistle the very same match. That Saturday night, our Kemphans had to swallow a bitter pill (0-4). All the goals then fell in the second half.
Text and statistics: Peter Boons