Preview KVC Westerlo -RFC Seraing
History was made last weekend. Kempic ones anyway, because it probably won’t go down in the history books. Winning at Club: it was the first time in 25 years. Against Liège Seraing, another footnote can be added, as winning five times in a row has never been achieved either.
Winning at one of the best clubs in Europe, it happens to you oddly or rarely. The struggling Kemphans did manage it. On character, on mentality, with a bit of luck and an outstanding goalkeeper. The ingredients it takes to win a match. Whichever way you look at it: the home game against the Metallos will be of a different calibre, will be even more difficult. At the Seraing section, you will read why.
Coach De Roeck will probably put his men on edge. We are used to that from him. Since his arrival at the Kuipje, we get to see attacking and beautiful football. The acquisitions have been a hit. Again, there were eight new players compared to the champion team of 1B in the team.
Three players were included in the team of the week: Sinan Bolat showed in the past two games why a closing post is so important. Two games in a row, he also kept the zero. Rubin Seigers – one of last season’s survivors – is playing his game every week and Lyle Foster has made strides in his running lines and showed Red Devil Mechele all corners of the pitch and scored the two goals as the icing on the cake.
Ravil Tagir seems to have won the battle with Pietro Perdichizzi for the time being to man the centre as a left-footed defender. Flanks Bryan Reynolds – at one point Noa Lang simply let him walk on Saturday because he was fed up – and Maxim De Cuyper are also playing at full speed. Nicolas Madsen – how he keeps using his body in the right way shows high potential in game intelligence – and Lucas Mineiro dominate the centre of midfield. Halil is a jerk – in the good sense of the word – to play against and Nacer Chadli – who has given the group yet another injection of quality – play on the flanks. And Nene is Lyle’s striker brother. Then let those two match up well off the pitch as well and you know things are good. If these guys are tired then the substitutes can still be taken over by the fresh bench players who support and push the team to a higher level every week.
Last week, they only scored their first point after 5 home games, even worse: they only scored their first goal on their own pitch, but… scoring points and scoring they prefer to do away from home. Winning at Eupen (1-3), KV Mechelen (2-3) and Standard (0-2). We even lost to those two firsts.
Coach is José Jeunechamps. Not unknown to us, as he had a nice series at Mouscron last season, but lost every time against us. He will not have some important players available on Friday evening. Goalkeeper Dietsch injured himself at training and will be out for a few weeks, Gérald Kilota – last season’s captain – has been out for a whole season, new captain and ex-Red Devils Christophe Lepoint also suffers from knee problems.
The question is whether Abdoulaye Sylla will be allowed to play. Captain number three in the line-up. He received a direct red card last week, was effectively given two match-day suspension, but could possibly appeal. Just wait and see… Top shooter of the team is Marius, his call sign, as his surname is slightly harder to pronounce, namely Mouandilmadji. This towering striker (1m90) is a Chad international and has already scored five goals in 11 matches this season, including twice from the eleven-metre spot.
Looking at the player core list – which includes 16 transfers – two more names stand out. Firstly, this is Daniel Opare, if we open his CV, it lists some fine clubs: training at Real Madrid, Standard, FC Porto, Besiktas, FC Augsburg, RC Lens, Antwerp and Zulte Waregem. The now 31-year-old Ghanaian prefers to play at right-back, but is also played out centrally in defence by his coach. Another name is that of Sérgio Conceiçâo. Not the manager/coach of FC Porto but his son. Sérgio has two more footballing brothers, Rodrigo (FC Porto) and Francisco (Ajax).
This will be his eighth game this season. For both Westerlo and Seraing, this will be the first confrontation, this season anyway. His last appearance at the Kuipje dates back to 2017. On that Saturday night in February, we lost 0-4 to Ostend then. Other encounters were more positive: 5-0 against Cercle Brugge (2013), 4-3 against Lokeren (2015) and 1-1 against Antwerp (2015). Laforge is also a UEFA and FIFA refereen so he has already had the privilege of whistling eight European matches.
Text and statistics: Peter Boons