Club Brugge's final away game of the season takes the team to Liège, where it is set to meet locals Standard at 20h30. A preview.
Before joining Club Brugge at the age of 15, Loïs Openda went through the youth ranks at Standard de Liège. In the past couple of years, the Belgian international gained quite some experience in both the UEFA Youth League and the Viareggio Cup, joining Club's U21s. The young man has made quite the mark these past months, with his quick feet and the danger he creates. He was the man behind Club's second in last weekend's 3-2 victory over KRC Genk, keeping Club in the title race!
Surprise transfer at the start of the season, as Club legend Maxime Lestienne headed for Standard de Liège where he once again met up with Michel Preud’homme. From 2010 to 2014, Club's colours graced the winger's body, and at the end of that period, the now Liège coach was the man in charge at Club. The former Belgian international headed abroad after that, joining Al-Arabi, Genoa, PSV Eindhoven (where he won the league in 2016), Rubin Kazan and Malaga. Lestienne has been in fine form lately, scoring five in 25 games.
The man handling the whistle at Standard will be Mr. Alexandre Boucaut, backed by his linesmen Mr. Jimmy Cremers and Mr. Pieter Becquet. Fourt official is Mr. Frederik Geldhof. In charge of the VAR is Mr. Kris Bellon.
A scintillating Jan Breydel was witness to Club's 3-2 over leaders KRC Genk, cutting the gap with the Limburg team in half. Only one result will do for Club: only a win will keep Club on track for a second consecutive league win. In the regular league, Blauw-Zwart harvested 3 out of 6 against the Walloon outfit. The game at Sclessin ended in a clear 3-1 defeat. Carcela and Emond put les Rouches 2-0 in front, but a Luyindama own-goal put Blauw-Zwart back in the game. The game was decided, however, by Marin with Standard's third. The return game at Jan Breydel ended in a 3-0 win for Club, Denswil, Dennis and Amrabat taking care of the Club goals. In five earlier trips to Liège, Blauw-Zwart won once, drew twice, and lost twice. Dennis, Mechele, Diatta and Amrabat are all in the danger area: another booking means they miss out on the final home game against Antwerp.
With 36 points so far, Standard is three points behind third placed Antwerp. The team from Liège had a perfect start in Play-Off 1, with back-to-back wins against Antwerp (3-1) and Gent (1-2), but the title aspirations took quite a blow after two defeats in Bruges (4-0) and at home against KRC Genk (1-3). Last weekend's tragic last-gasp defeat against KAA Gent (2-3) make it a disheartening 0 out of 12. The game in Play-Off 1 ended in a resounding 4-0 victory for Club. An own-goal by Vanheusden put Club in the driver's seat, and goals by Schrijvers, Dennis and Wesley filled the fans' hearts with rapture. No doubt les Rouches will be dying to make amends for that in front of their home crowd. The last ten Standard goals have been scored by 9 different players. Club's defense had better be warned!
The last away game of the season comes with a lot of stress: a win at Liège means the title race will be prolonged to the final match day of the season. A win for Club and a defeat for Genk at Anderlecht means Club jumps to first place. Talk about an important game! The following players have been selected: