Our prediction for this Belgium Pro League match:
Leuven and Antwerp square off against each other at Den Dreef on Matchday 33. Leuven failed to win the previous five league fixtures, but a triumph over Antwerp will see them keep their Conference League hopes alive. Defender Casper De Norre misses out with injury, while Iran international Kaveh Rezaei is a major doubt. Brian Priske’s troops, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Waregem.
Antwerp are eager to secure a top-four finish, but that is easier said than done as both Anderlecht and Gent are breathing down their neck. The Great Old have been in a much better form of late than Leuven, which is probably the main reason why away win should be considered. Mbwana Samatta is pushing for a start, whilst both Emanuel Emegha and Bjorn Angels are likely to miss the game with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Radja Nainggolan):
Born on 4 May 1988, Radja Nainggolan is a Belgian footballer who plays for AS Roma as a central midfielder. The combative midfielder failed to leave a mark on domestic stage, having left his first club Germinal Beerschot for Piacenza as a 17-year-old. Nainggolan soon started to prove his worth at senior level, earning a move to Cagliari in 2010.
He continued with impressive performances in Italian Serie A and eventually snubbed a number of top European sides to join AS Roma in 2014.The central midfielder enjoyed a very good start to his career at Stadio Olimpico, while also establishing himself as a first team regular in the Belgian national team, helping the Red Devils climb to first place in FIFA Rankings and also qualify for the Euro 2016 finals.
A highly skilled midfielder who does not shirk from defensive duties, Nainggolan is also famous for his fiery temperament that has seen him earn 2 red cards and over 70 yellow cards during the course of his career.
Highlighted Team (Antwerp):
Founded back in 1880, Antwerp is one of the oldest clubs in Belgium. The Great Old welcome their rivals at Bosuilstadion, the venue with the capacity of 16,144 people. Antwerp are well known for their red home kits, with the team wearing white shirts and white jerseys when playing on the travels.
Over the years Antwerp have been trying to close the gap between Belgian giants Anderlecht and Club Brugge, but they have yet to win the title in the recent history. The Great Old clinched their first domestic trophy back in 1929, with the team repeating the success two years later. The third and the fourth titles came in 1944 and 1957 respectively.
Beerschot A.C. are considered the club’s fiercest rivals, but they have a rivalry with Club Brugge as well. The club chiefs had a long-term partnership with famous English club Manchester United in the past, with Antwerp taking young footballers on loan to Old Trafford.