KV Mechelen v Sint-Truiden Preview | Belgian’s last European trophy winners need win to keep pressure up on Gent

KV Mechelen host Sint-Truiden on Friday night hoping to keep up the pressure on Gent for the chance of European football next season. After an incredibly dramatic 3-2 win over OH Leuven last time out, Mechelen sit just a point behind Gent in the race to win play-off two. The winner then faces the side that finishes in either fourth or fifth in the Champions play-offs, depending on how the European tickets are allocated following the Belgian Cup final.

They will be without Islam Slimani for the clash with Sint-Truiden and could potentially be missing their captain Rob Schoofs with a foot injury. The midfielder, a key player for the side, has scored six goals and provided six assists this season.

For Sint-Truiden, they also have an outside chance of winning the play-off two. They are four points behind Gent, so a win over Mechelen would help them leapfrog one side in their way. The side have been trying to give more game time to January signing Adriano Bertaccini, one of the top scorers in the Belgian second tier with RFC Liege. Fans have been wanting to see the 23-year-old for a while, and it appears that head coach Thorsten Fink will use the play-offs to get the striker used to how he wants his team to play.

Mechelen are, remarkably, the most recent Belgian side to win a European trophy. In 1988 they won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and then the UEFA Super Cup. In the former, they beat Ajax 1-0 at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg, while in the latter they overcame another Dutch side in PSV with a 3-1 aggregate win.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

More European Football News