Our prediction for this Belgium Pro League match:
AFAS-stadion Achter de Kazerne will host Thursday’s Jupiler League game between Mechelen and Anderlecht, the two teams who sit in the top half of the table. Mechelen aim to keep their 100% record in 2024 intact and their performance in a 3-1 win over RWDM is surely fuelling fans with optimism ahead of the upcoming challenges. Mory Konate is still on international duty with Guinea, while both Norman Bassette and Toon Raemaekers are sidelined with injuries.
The capital club, on the other hand, aim to keep their title hopes alive. Anderlecht showed character in a 2-2 draw with St Gilloise and given their positive head-to-head record against Mechelen, away win should be considered. Thorgan Hazard is pushing for a start after scoring the equalizer against St Gilloise, while Amadou Diawara is representing Guinea at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Highlighted Player (Jan Vertonghen):
After spending four years at Ajax, in 2006 Jan Vertonghen signed a loan deal with RKC Waalwijk. The left-footed defender spent one season at Mandemakers Stadion and he returned to Ajax for the 2007/2008 season. The highly rated footballer, who is capable of playing as both centre back and left back, signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur on 8 July, 2012 and he has been playing for the Premier League outfit ever since.
The Belgian defender scored four goals for the Spurs in the 2012/2013 Premier League season and he made 34 league appearances for the White Hart Lane outfit back then. In the 2015/2016 season Jan Vertonghen and his teammates were producing brilliant displays with Tottenham, but the Spurs eventually finished the campaign in third place in the standings.
Speaking of his international career, Vertonghen made it to both World Cup (2014) and Euro (2016) quarter-finals with the Belgian national team. Jan was born on 24 April, 1987 and his shirt number is 5.
Highlighted Team (Anderlecht):
Founded on 27 May, 1908, Anderlecht are considered one of the oldest clubs in Belgium. The Paars-wit are the dominant force in the Belgian Pro League and in 2014 they won their 33rd domestic trophy. Anderlecht did remarkably well to win the UEFA Super Cup title in 1983, with the team defeating Benfica in the final of the competition.
The Belgian outfit recorded a 1-0 over the Eagles in the first leg, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw in the return leg. Anderlecht play their home games at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, the venue that was opened in 1917. The stadium was renovated in 1983 and current capacity of Anderlecht’s home ground is 28 063.
The Paars-wit have long-standing rivalries with the likes of Standard Liege and Club Brugge, whilst FC Brussels were considered the club’s bitter opponents in the past. The likes of Besnik Hasi, Lucas Biglia, Filip De Wilde and Romelu Lukaku are some of Anderlecht’s notable players.