Our prediction for this Belgium Pro League match:
Buoyed by a 2-1 win over Standard in the Belgian Cup final, Genk will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Antwerp in the Championship Group round 1. Genk aim to get their revenge on Antwerp for a 3-2 loss in the regular season, but beating the Great Old on the road is easier said than done. Defender Jere Uronen has overcome his injury, but Dries Wouters remains in the recovery room.
Antwerp, on the other hand, finished the regular season in style, with the team beating both Mouscron and Genk, and we are positive that they will stick to their attacking style of play. Given Genk’s attacking potential, both teams to score betting option should definitely be considered. The good news for the home team is that defender Maxime Le Marchand returns from suspension.
Highlighted Player (Lior Refaelov):
Lior Refaelov is an Israeli footballer playing as an attacking midfielder for the Belgium giants with whom he has been a mainstay since his arrival in 2011. Rafaelov began his career at Maccabi Haifa where he played 161 league appearances and scored 30 goals before moving to Belgium.
The experienced 30-year-old Israel international has made his senior debut for his country in 2007 and has since earned over 30 caps for Israel. Lior Rafaelov is a player of vast international experience despite the fact Club Brugge are his first and so far only club in Europe.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder is a major force upfront who has scored six times during Brugge’s Europa League campaign in 2014-15, while he also scored the winner in the Belgian Cup final to earn his club a first trophy in eight years. Last season Rafaleov repeated the feat, having scored in the 2016 Belgian Cup Final, but it wasn’t enough for Club Brugge to avoid getting defeated 2-1 to Standard Liege.
Highlighted Team (Genk):
Founded in 1988, Genk are considered one of the youngest clubs in Belgium. Luminus Arena is the home stadium of the club, the capacity of the venue is 24 956 and it was built in 1999. Speaking of UEFA matches, the stadium can hold 21 500 spectators.
Genk clinched one Belgian Pro League trophy in the 20th century, with the team winning the 1989/1999 title. They finished the season with 73 points, two points clear of second-placed Club Brugge. Genk won their second domestic trophy in 2002 and the team lifted the Belgian Pro League title in 2011 as well. Speaking of the Belgian Cup, the club clinched their fourth trophy in the competition in 2013.
The club is well known for their brilliant school and you should bear in mind that the likes of Steven Defour, Christian Benteke, Thibaut Courtois, Divock Origi and Kevin De Bruyne are all products of Genk’s football academy.