Antwerp puts Club Brugge on display

With nine consecutive victories, Antwerp FC is the unbeaten leader in the Jupiler Pro League. The Great Old dominates the Belgian league, especially with very efficient football. Antwerp and Club Brugge, the two biggest title candidates this season, have the same number of expected points today, with the difference that Blauw-Zwart performs completely according to expectations, while Mark van Bommel’s team surpasses itself in a very impressive way.


The expected points is a position that shows where we should expect a team back in the standings, based entirely on each team’s expected goals per game. It is a representation of the quality of the goals created per team. Today, KRC Genk leads the position of the expected points, with Union SG, AA Gent, Antwerp FC and Club Brugge respectively in their wake. We only find Anderlecht in ninth place in this virtual ranking.

The full standings of the expected points: 1. KRC Genk, 2. union SG, 3. AA Ghent, 4. Antwerp FC, 5. Club Brugge, 6. charleroi, 7. standard, 8. Westerlo, 9. Anderlecht, 10. Sint Truiden, 11. KV Ostend, 12. Bruges, 13. seraing, 14. Eupen, 15. KV Mechelen, 16. OH Leuven, 17. KV Kortrijk, 18. Zulte Waregem. Based on this ranking, several interesting observations can be made in the field of teams that on the one hand exceed themselves in reality, and on the other hand perform below expectations.


Although Antwerp FC currently boasts nine wins in a row, the Great Old does not take the most expected points in the Belgian competition. This means that Mark van Bommel’s team performs very efficiently and needs few (high-quality) chances to score goals. Antwerp is therefore the team that outperforms itself the most when we weigh the actual points against the expected points. Antwerp (+11.8), OH Leuven (+8.3) and KRC Genk (+4) are the three teams that are currently performing most above expectations.

It remains to be seen how long Antwerp FC will be able to continue to string together victories in this way. The Antwerp players are clearly by far the most efficient team on the offensive, but they also have the least passed defense in the country. “Antwerp is just flawless at the moment. We also know, of course, that they will lose points at some point,” KRC Genk captain Bryan Heynen recently warned.


At the bottom of the standings, we note that Zulte Waregem is currently by far the worst performer in terms of expected points. Just in front of Essevee are KV Kortrijk and surprisingly also OH Leuven. We already indicated above that Marc Brys’ team surpasses itself enormously when we weigh the actual points against the expected points (+8.3). OHL is currently performing well above expectations in terms of effective points gain and above all very efficiently.

The situation of Cercle Brugge is also very remarkable. Earlier this week, the Association dismissed Dominik Thalhammer because the results were not satisfactory. However, Cercle as a collective created more than enough qualitative opportunities, with a twelfth place in the expected points as proof, and in reality the problem lies mainly in converting those opportunities into goals.

This therefore seems to be a case of a lack of quality in the group of players, rather than the expertise and skills of coach Dominik Thalhammer. Dennis van Wijk also rightly established that on Monday in Extra Time, where he especially pointed the finger at technical director Carlos Avina as the cause of the sporting malaise at Cercle Brugge.” That man will undoubtedly have qualities, but he should also be allowed to judge his own transfer policy. I think Cercle didn’t get good players.”


Although Antwerp FC is the authoritarian leader in the Jupiler Pro League today with 27 points out of 27, it is not an absolute certainty that the Great Old will play champion with fingers in the nose this season. Based on the expected points, the Antwerp players outperform themselves enormously (+11.8), but if the other top clubs also start to perform more efficiently, it promises to be an interesting and intensive title battle. Club Brugge, for example, has as many expected points as Antwerp, but the Bruggelings perform much less efficiently (+3.8) than the Great Old.

KRC Genk, Union SG and AA Gent currently have even more expected points than Antwerp. If these three clubs, as well as Club Brugge, are more careful with their scoring chances, the gap with the Antwerp players can be closed quickly. Moreover, it must also be taken into account that Antwerp will not be able to continue to outdo itself throughout the season. “You notice that everyone is talking about the title, but it will also be even less,” warned Mark van Bommel two weeks ago. sporza.


The story is completely different at RSC Anderlecht. The Purple & White are currently in eighth place in the Jupiler Pro League ranking and Sporting occupies ninth place in the expected points classification. The difference between the real number of points and the expected points of Anderlecht is therefore negligible. In other words, Anderlecht is currently in the ranking where it should be according to expectations. In a disappointing eighth place, a gray mouse in the standings. And that is alarming news for Felice Mazzu and his followers.

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The article is in Dutch

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