Preview Club Brugge – KVC Westerlo
Nine on nine always gives you some breathing space. Meanwhile, we are in seventh place, but face a not easy task. The most difficult of all for our Kemphanen. Why? You can read about that below.
If there is now one opponent that does not suit us, it is the blue-blacks of Bruges. In 38 mutual duels played, we achieved a winning percentage of 2.6% against them. In other words, 1 win and 6 draws in 25 years. The last point we ever managed to get was on 22 February 2009, the last win even dates back to 10 years earlier. 23 years ago, Vedran Pelic scored the winning goal, at Kuipje. In the last five clashes at Jan Breydel, we lost five times and the goal difference is not to write home either: i.e. 24 against and 3 for. But our current team should not be afraid of anyone. Coach De Roeck has turned our Kemphans into an attacking, good footballing team where the substitutes are so eager that they often make the difference.
Whereas at the beginning of the season we played with only 1 new guy (Sinan Bolat), last Sunday there were no less than 8 new players compared to last season on the pitch. When you then know that Perdichizzi, Van Den Keybus and Mabea – strong holders last season – did not even make the bench, but had to be satisfied with a seat in the stands, you can already talk of some wealth.
Finally, we were also able to keep the zero. It was from the opening game ago and it was entirely also to the credit of our goalkeeper Sinan Bolat, who also – after the absence of Van Eenoo, Vetokele and Perdichizzi – got the captain’s armband around his arm for the first time.
Our connection with Club is striking. No fewer than five players have donned the blue-black jersey before. Both Sinan, Maxim and Thomas have their tally at 5 games, Tuur takes the crown with 61 games and Pietro featured at Jan Breydel in the 2011-2012 season where, however, he only made the matchday squad once and this during a Europe match at Birmingham City.
What a performance by the West Flemish! Nine out of nine in the Champions League. Belgian football can only get better from it. Winning against Leverkusen, Porto and Atlético Madrid – all teams from the world’s top six leagues – and a goal difference of 7 to 0.
Looking at our own Jupiler ProLeague, we do make one observation. Club lost points against Eupen (2-1), Zulte Waregem (1-1) and Standard (3-0). In other words, if the red lantern can pull off a draw in Bruges, we should be capable of doing so too, but that is probably what Kortrijk (2-1), Cercle Brugge (4-0) and KV Mechelen (3-0) will have thought as well and they also got on the bus towards their own stadium with zero points.
In total, the Brugge sides have already played 14 games this season, scoring an average of 2.43 points per game. Only two players started in every match: Simon Mignolet and Hans Vanaken. Ferran Jutglà and Kamal Sowah also amassed playing minutes in every match. No fewer than 13 players managed to find their way to goal already, with Spaniard Jutglà (8 goals) and Dane Skov-Olsen (6 goals) accounting for the most goals.
Did you know?
Coach Carl Hoefkens donned Westel’s shirt on a blue Monday. In seven matches, he gained playing minutes. He arrived to the Kuipje on 1 March 2003 only to transfer to Germinal Beerschot a few months later. The reason why he came to play with us so late in the season was that Lommel SK, his previous club, was declared bankrupt in February 2003 and so all players were allowed to look elsewhere.
The 34-year-old Limburger will lead the game in Bruges. We have already met him once this season: at KV Mechelen. A match that will not soon be forgotten by many Kemphans. For him, it will be the third time he will be allowed to whistle a match at Jan Breydel (of Club) and the previous two editions the home team was already able to win the match, namely in 2020 (1-0 against STVV) and in 2021 (2-0 against Kortrijk).
Text and statistics: Peter Boons