Gent VS Anderlecht Prediction
Last game from Round 20 of Belgian Pro League will take place on Thursday night, 22 December 2016, when the “Ghelamco Arena” in Gent is set to stage a clash facing hosts KAA Gent and Anderlecht. That is definitely match of the round as we have two of the top Belgian teams, although Club Brugge were champions at the end of season 2015-16, Anderlecht were runner-ups and Gent finished third in final standings. Currently (Note: according rankings prior all matches on Wednesday night) we have “Buffalos” from Gent on seventh position and they have three points less from third-placed Anderlecht, but Gent can be replaced from their position if Standard Liège wins against Lokeren on Wednesday night. RSCA can also be moved from the third place and this will happen if KV Oostende scoops all points after a visit in Kortrijk, but of course, the most important thing for both sides is to focus entirely upon their own fixture.
Gent vs Anderlecht – Team News and Match Preview
First duel between Gent and Anderlecht during the 2016-17 season was in end of August and it has been staged by the “Stade Constant Vanden Stock” in Brussels, where Nana Asare scored a stoppage time equalizer as thus he formed final score – 2-2. Anderlecht took the lead twice but René Weiler’s men couldn’t retain their advantage and they surely regret about missed opportunity. Initially young midfielder and one of biggest prospects in Belgian football Youri Tielemans scored a penalty in 19th minute, but Moses Simon restored the draw only two minutes later. That was main action in first 45 minutes of the game and second half started in a very promising way for Anderlecht – Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk put its team ahead. Thereafter visitors from Gent were those who created more scoring chances, held the ball more and we can say Asare’s equalizer was absolutely reasonable outcome, as “The Buffalos” did not deserve to lose this match.
Gent remains unbeaten at home when it comes to both domestic competitions, but generally they have lost only once and that happened in the UEFA Europa League group phase – 3-5 from Shakhtar Donetsk early in November. This loss came after 9 consecutive home victories but Gent still holds a really impressive record in the Pro League, where Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side can boast with eight wins and just a draw from 9 matches at the “Ghelamco Arena”. Their goal difference at home is 20:4 and all these indicators are making Gent second strongest host in the league, as only Club Brugge have won one point more in that term (26 against 25). Anyway, Gent have played one game less and positive outcome of their clash against Anderlecht can either climb them on top of the home team standings or to level them with Club Brugge.
Despite its strong record on home turf, Gent struggles away from home and that’s the reason they’re currently out of top 6. Hein Vanhaezebrouck and his men have won just 7 points (a win and four draws) out of 10 away matches, making them one of the weak away sides.
Meanwhile, Anderlecht heads to Gent as one of the strongest away teams and to be more exact, only Zulte Waregem have won more points on the road – 17 against 14. However, club from Waregem is with one game more (10 against 9), so RSCA can reach them if they accomplish fifth victory away from home, but of course, main target is the overall positioning and Anderlecht is with just two points behind leaders Club Brugge, as well as on two from second-placed Zulte Waregem.
René Weiler can rely on fact his team is the only one with 40 goals scored and a 4-0 win over AS Eupen on Sunday night came right on time, after two unsuccessful home games for “The Purple & White” (2-3 vs AS Saint-Etienne and a goalless draw vs Club Brugge).
Gent vs Anderlecht – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Anderlecht’s boss will probably stick to same formation and starting XI which he used against Eupen. Even if we consider central defender Uros Spajic served its suspension, while both wingers Frank Acheampong and Alexandru Chipciu are back to training after they have been ruled out respectively because of knee and muscle injuries, René Weiler would rather not to make any serious changes after so effective performance.
Tunisian striker Hamdi Harbaoui scored a goal for Anderlecht’s reserves on Monday (3-0 win vs Charleroi), but expectations are he’ll leave the club and first of all he’ll join its nation at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. This makes Lukasz Teodorczyk (league top scorer with 13 goals in 18 games) even more certain about its starting position, but main question for Swiss coach René Weiler is related with a trio behind striker – Sofiane Hanni (who scored twice vs Eupen), Nicolae Stanciu and Massimo Bruno could once again form that line.
Experienced defender Olivier Deschacht recovers from injury, but with Spajic back in contention, as well as with presence of Bram Nuytinck and Serigne Modou Kara Mbodj, Weiler has enough options at the back.
Gent will hope to get back on track and extend its unbeaten home form, but this must happen after two disappointing results in space of a week. First of all Gent have been eliminated from the Belgian Cup quarter-finals where they lost 1-0 in Oostende last Wednesday, which has been followed by a 3-1 defeat in Sint-Truiden on Saturday night. Two dreadful results but unfortunately that’s not all, as they carry more consequences for Hein Vanhaezebrouck. He will have to pick a different centre-back trio as a result of Stefan Mitrović’s suspension, who has been booked twice and respectively sent-off 10 minutes after he scored a goal and made the score 2-1. However, hosts took advantage from that situation and scored another one to make their victory even greater.
Except absence of Stefan Mitrović, Hein Vanhaezebrouck remains without injured Noël Naby Soumah, Nana Asare and Renato Neto.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
We have two teams with clear aspirations for claiming a higher position than of their current ones and this makes game even more significant. Gent and Anderlecht were also engaged with their UEFA Europa Leauge campaigns in past few months and thankfully for their ambitions, these efforts have been marked with success as both teams will keep on their European journeys in the Round of 32. This will happen in mid-February, so now Gent and Anderlecht can show their best in the Belgian Pro League, after they have already been eliminated from the Belgian Cup.
Our betting prediction goes for goals by both sides – “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Venue: “Ghelamco Arena”, Gent.
Referee: Erik Lambrechts.
Possible starting lineups of Gent and Anderlecht
KAA Gent: Yannick Thoelen – Lasse Nielsen, Rami Gershon, Jeremy Taravel – Kenny Saief, Anderson Esiti, Rob Schoofs, Thomas Foket – Danijel Milicevic, Brecht Dejaegere – Jérémy Perbet. (3-4-2-1)
RSC Anderlecht: Frank Boeckx – Ivan Obradovic, Bram Nuytinck, Kara, Andy Najar – Leander Dendoncker, Youri Tielemans – Sofiane Hanni, Nicolae Stanciu, Massimo Bruno – Lukasz Teodorczyk. (4-2-3-1)