Zulte Waregem vs Club Brugge Prediction, Preview, H2H & Betting Tips
An upcoming Friday night encounter at the “Regenboogstadion” in Waregem promises some intriguing minutes where Zulte Waregem takes on Club Brugge KV. After opening two rounds in the Belgian Pro League we find Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge respectively 1st and 2nd in the standings, sharing the same number of points with a 3rd placed Sporting Charleroi.
H2H: Zulte Waregem vs Club Brugge
Zulte Waregem will be keen on a sweet revenge after seven games without winning when facing Club Brugge. Most recent of them was in Bruges earlier in May when Timothy Derijck scored an early opener for guests from Waregem but a sudden response by Hans Vanaken and Dorin Rotariu made the score 2:1 on half-time. That was the fifth victory of Club Brugge over Zulte Waregem in their last seven competitive meetings, meaning that “Essevee” have only two draws in that period. Actually their last success over “The Blauw-Zwart” remains two years ago, in August 2015, when Zulte won 2:0 at home turf.
Head-to-head Stats: 35 matches, Club Brugge – 18 wins, 7 draws, 10 wins for Zulte Waregem.
H2H Balance in Waregem: 8 wins for Zulte, 6 draws, 4 wins for Club Brugge.
Belgian Pro League: Zulte Waregem vs Club Brugge 11.08.2017
Zulte Waregem began the new 2017-18 season with a Super Cup match vs reigning Pro League champion Anderlecht. Zulte Waregem deserved a place in this matchup as the 2017 Belgian Cup winner, which happens for the second time after 2006. Unfortunately Francky Dury’s men failed to lift the trophy but they left some good impressions and also enjoy a great beginning of the domestic league campaign. After losing 1:2 to Anderlecht, Zulte Waregem achieved two strong results in the Pro League without conceding. First was a massive 0:5 win in Eupen, followed by their first home match – 2:0 vs Sint-Truiden last weekend. Thus Zulte Waregem stands on top of the table with goal difference 7:0.
Visitors from Bruges are right behind Zulte Waregem as their goal difference is +6, compared to +7 in Zulte’s favour. That is a result of a goal conceded vs AS Eupen last round, when Eupen opened the score in Bruges but Ivan Leko’s men were calm and won the game 3:1. That was their second league success after a convincing 0:4 win in Lokeren, which happened right between both Champions League qualifiers vs Istanbul Basaksehir. Indeed, as a Belgian vice-champion Club Brugge won a spot in the 2017-18 Champions League qualifications but after a 3:3 home draw and 2:0 defeat in Istanbul, Ivan Leko’s side will have to chase a position in the UEFA Europa League group phase. This will happen in a two-legged tie with another team eliminated from the Champions League qualifying – AEK Athens, making the playoff draw extremely unpleasant to the Belgian side.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Before first Europa League playoff vs AEK on Thursday night, Club Brugge will focus over the Pro League and Ivan Leko will hope to have all key players in the squad. Brazilian forward Wesley remains sidelined due to illness but expectations are that key defender Stefano Denswil should be ready to come back and start in the centre-back trio alongside Björn Engels, and Brandon Mechele. Otherwise veteran Timmy Simons will be a replacement once again, as the 40-year-old played full 90 minutes against Eupen on Sunday.
Other players who are questionable and expected to miss out for the away side are: Benoît Poulain, Laurens De Bock, José Izquierdo and Elton Acolatse.
Meanwhile Zulte Waregem waits for the Europa League group stage draw as a Belgian Cup winner, so Francky Dury can be entirely focused on the Pro League for a few weeks more. Kingsley Madu remains sidelined for Zulte Waregem while goalkeeper Sammy Bossut (stomach disorder) and Gertjan De Mets (calf injury) are both doubts.
Biggest dilemma of the home team coach is surely related with position on top of the formation where he can either start with Serbian striker Ivan Saponjic (on loan from Benfica) or Aaron Leya Iseka (on loan from Anderlecht). Saponjic scored twice in Eupen but couldn’t do the same vs Sint-Truiden last round, before being replaced exactly by Leya Iseka who scored the second decisive goal after a penalty has been awarded for Zulte. Nevertheless, we expect Saponjic as a starter and Leya Iseka can be a replacement if Francky Dury needs to improve his attacking formation.
Zulte Waregem vs Club Brugge Prediction and Betting Tips
We have two teams that show a decent league form and they’re surely tempted to be on top of the table after round three, individually, if possible. That can happen if someone wins on Friday evening and we find good arguments to place a bet on “Both teams to score – Yes“. Even if odds are not that high it seems to be a market which will most likely carry profits.
Possible Lineups of Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge
Venue: “Regenboogstadion”, Waregem.
Referee: Lawrence Visser.
S.V. Zulte Waregem:
Louis Bostyn – Davy De Fauw, Michaël Heylen, Timothy Derijck, Brian Hamalainen – Sander Coopman, Julien de Sart – Peter Olayinka, Nill De Pauw, Onur Kaya – Ivan Saponjic. (4-2-3-1)
Club Brugge KV:
Ethan Horvath – Björn Engels, Stefano Denswil, Brandon Mechele – Helibelton Palacios, Marvelous Nakamba, Ruud Vormer, Ahmed Touba – Lior Rafaelov, Emmanuel Dennis – Jelle Vossen. (3-4-2-1)