Why Kortrijk against Anderlecht is actually a top match on Sunday
17 de February, 2023
A duel between two anonymous right-hand columnists, you say? You can also see it differently. With only the points since the World Cup break taken into account, KV Kortrijk and Anderlecht are both in the top five. To put it bluntly: the form level is fine. Take a seat on Sunday for this topper.
Anderlecht, which is tenth, is currently one point short of the European play-offs. The question that every Purple & White fan has been asking for a while is whether it will still work out for the top eight. Well, we can’t promise those fans anything, but if the trend line of the last few months continues, it shouldn’t be a problem for Anderlecht.
In the first league match after the World Cup break, which was also coach Brian Riemer’s first, the Purple & White won immediately against Charleroi. This was followed by a one out of nine against Union, Club Brugge and Zulte Waregem and it seemed to go in the wrong direction for a while. But then came the recent nine out of twelve against Seraing, Antwerp, Ostend and STVV. And so Anderlecht ended up in fourth place in the ranking in which only the points from the World Cup break are counted. Level Champions playoffs, in other words. If only it had put down such a series more often in the first half of the season.
Are you an Anderlecht fan and are you secretly still dreaming of those Champions play-offs while reading this article? That gets a bit difficult. The Purple & White have taken five points more than number four Club Brugge in the past eight games, or 0.63 points per game. There are still nine matches left in the regular season, so if the current trend continues, Anderlecht will take five or six points back from Club, while the gap is currently eight points. That seems just a bit too ambitious, but who knows, it will be exciting.
Instead of dreaming, Brian Riemer’s troops had better focus on Sunday’s tough game. KV Kortrijk, Anderlecht’s opponent this weekend, is also doing well in that ranking with only the points after the World Cup break. There, too, the World Cup naturally coincides with the change of trainers and the takeover by Bernd Storck, who has already collected thirteen points since his arrival. And so you can view Sunday’s match as one between the numbers ten and fifteen, but just as good as the match between the numbers four and five in the ranking after the World Cup. A real topper, as it were.
The post-World Cup ranking also creates some clarity in the battle for the title and for retention. Union is the team of the last few months, but you probably already noticed that. There seems to be little hope for KV Oostende and Seraing. OH Leuven also comes out particularly badly. Apart from a drastic turnaround, Anderlecht will no longer have to take the team from Leuven into account in the battle for the play-offs.