Anderlecht vs Club Brugge Prediction, Preview, H2H, Lineups & Betting Tips 23.04.2017
Anderlecht hosts to its long-standing rival Club Brugge when on Sunday night both clubs will close round four of the Belgian First Division A playoffs. Upcoming derby is strongly anticipated not only because it meets the two most successful football teams in Belgium but for its significance to current positioning. Anderlecht is on top of the league and club from Belgian capital can make a significant impact over ambitions of guests from Brugge, who are the reigning champions by the way.
Belgian First Division A: Anderlecht vs Club Brugge 23.04.2017
Anderlecht returns at home few days after René Weiler’s men were eliminated by Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. RSCA had to play 120+ minutes at “Old Trafford” on Thursday night and Jose Mourinho’s men probably didn’t expected such a resistance from their Belgian opponents.
Now Anderlecht can focus entirely on the domestic league where “The Purple & White” are keen to win the trophy for the first time since season 2013-14. So far so good, squad led by Swiss coach René Weiler does quite well as it holds a six-point lead over Gent and Club Brugge.
Club Brugge is fully rested and will try to take an advantage from that fact. Nevertheless, visitors from West Flanders are far from being in an optimal shape as they are yet to win a game in the playoffs. Indeed, last success for Club Brugge was in end of February when they won 5-0 over Zulte-Waregem at home, but that was back in round 28 of the regular season. That victory was followed by a defeat from Genk and a draw vs Sint-Truiden. In opening playoff round “The Blauw-Zwart” have repeated the same score in Genk (2-1) which has been followed by two consecutive draws – 1-1 vs Sporting Charleroi and 2-2 vs Zulte-Waregem. And if Club Brugge regrets about a missed opportunity to win over Charleroi at home, Michel Preud’homme’s men found themselves in a losing position (2-0) against Zulte-Waregem last round. Luckily Brugge had a quick response and final score at the “Regenboogstadion” in Waregem was formed in 54th minute.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Anderlecht comes after a massive test for its ability and René Weiler may be forced to refresh some lines. Truly, Anderlecht were the underdogs but Belgians were not that far away to reach lottery of penalties where everything could happen.
Players like Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker and top scorer Lukasz Teodorczyk are having a memorable season and we will be highly surprised if all of them are still in Brussels next year. Many major clubs are following development especially of both midfielders Dendoncker and Tielemans, whose vigorousity contributes for overall domination of Anderlecht. We expect another powerful appearance by them and presence of winter signing Adrien Trebel, who wasn’t eligible to play in the UEFA Europa League, will add fresh pair of feet in heart of the midfield. Thus Tielemans can be moved forward and take a position of captain Sofiane Hanni who played as an attacking midfielder against Man Utd. Algerian player scored the equalizer for Anderlecht and since he was replaced by Nicolae Stanciu after just 64 minutes, Hanni should be ready to feature from the outset. Another player who may be included in the starting XI, on right side, is Massimo Bruno.
Otherwise we don’t expect too much action by René Weiler who should use the core of his first-team players though. It’s a derby game and he can’t afford to make wholesale changes.
Michel Preud’homme on its turn can’t rely to a suspended centre-back Benoît Poulain. The 29-year-old Frenchman serves a suspension but Club Brugge’s boss has options and is expected to name a centre-back duo Stefano Denswil-Björn Engels.
Striker Abdoulay Diaby recovers from an injury but even if he is ready to start, there are other two players who compete for the starting position. One is young Brazilian forward Wesley, who scored in every playoff round so far, other is team’s top scorer Jelle Vossen.
Anderlecht vs Club Brugge Betting Prediction
Anderlecht and Club Brugge already met twice in regular part of the season and Club Brugge were winners at home – 2:1 in October. Second game between both major names of Belgian football was in December when their first clash in Brussels ended without any goals, but this time we expect completely different scenario.
Club Brugge must squeeze something from Anderlecht if they want to stay relatively close behind their rivals. Three days after a visit to Manchester United seems to be the best possible situation for their intention and we will see whether Anderlecht is gonna show obvious signs of fatigue, or René Weiler’s men will prove why they occupy the first position.
Our betting prediction goes on goals – “Both teams to score – Yes“. We expect at least a goal scored by either Anderlecht and Club Brugge on Sunday night. They have talented attackers and furthermore, traditional derby atmosphere in decisive weeks of the season predisposes for such a bet.
Venue: “Stade Constant Vanden Stock”, Brussels.
Referee: Serge Gumienny.
Possible Lineups of Anderlecht and Club Brugge
RSC Anderlecht: Frank Boeckx – Ivan Obradovic, Kara Mbodji, Uros Spajic, Dennis Appiah – Adrien Trebel, Leander Dendoncker – Sofiane Hanni, Youri Tielemans, Massimo Bruno – Lukasz Teodorczyk. (4-2-3-1)
Club Brugge KV: Ludovic Butelle – Ricardo van Rhijn, Björn Engels, Stefano Denswil, Laurens De Bock – Timmy Simons, Ruud Vormer – Lior Refaelov, Hans Vanaken, José Izquierdo – Wesley. (4-2-3-1)