Teuma is unsure, but Union coach Karel Geraerts is looking forward to Sunday: “Most important match for almost everyone”

“We are completely focused on ourselves,” Geraerts explained. “What is happening in Antwerp these days, we don’t think about it. We prepare in complete serenity and have everything in our own hands. Of course I understand the eagerness at Antwerp. It’s a very big club. This year we are fighting for the title with two clubs that have had no experience with this in recent years. It has been a long time for both clubs since they could become champions again.”

Geraerts had an extra group discussion with the players this week. “We talked about the mental aspect of Sunday’s match,” he nodded. “The game will be played in the head. I myself addressed the group, also about similar situations in my own playing career. In my own way, I try to get the players ready in every way possible. I do it the way I feel. I am convinced of this way of working.”


There is no stress among the people of Brussels, but everyone is aware of what is at stake. “This will be the most important match in their careers for most of the boys present, including me as a trainer,” said Geraerts. “Only someone like Toby Alderweireld has probably played more important matches. There is a healthy nervousness. I’m counting down the days to Sunday and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Teddy Teuma uncertain: “We are done without him”

Union may have to do without captain Teddy Teuma again on Sunday in the crucial match in the Champions’ play-off at Antwerp. The French Maltese is still struggling with the adductor muscles. “He is highly insecure,” said coach Karel Geraerts on Friday.

“Teddy trained individually today, mainly in the gym but also a little bit on the field,” the Union coach explained. “We are looking at how the situation is evolving together. We also talk to him a lot. In the end, he himself, in consultation with the doctor, will decide whether to play. For the rest, the entire group is fit, with the exception of substitute goalkeeper Lucas Pirard (who is struggling with his back, ed.).”


Teuma dropped out during the warm-up before the game in Genk last Sunday. In his place, the Dutch Moroccan Oussama El Azzouzi kicked off. “I am very satisfied with his race”, said Geraerts. “He only knew five minutes before kick-off that he would start. He showed a lot of character and played a good game. He can do that again on Sunday. And I also have Cameron Puertas. So there are several options to replace Teddy.”

However, Geraerts also acknowledged that the importance of Teuma is difficult to underestimate. “He is very important, for both the team and the club,” the trainer nodded. “He stimulates the group and also likes to play such matches, under great pressure. Everyone wants him there. But I have a strong group and a strong bank. We’re not worried. Everyone is ready, even if Teddy can’t play.”

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