Union St Gilloise v Antwerp Preview: Union hoping for Antwerp cup hangover

Union St Gilloise will open their play-off campaign and title challenge against Antwerp on Wednesday evening. The home side had to watch at the weekend while Genk grabbed all three points against Club Brugge, ending the unlikely chance that the defending champions had of regaining their crown. Both Union and Genk began the play-offs level on points.

On the same day, Antwerp beat Mechelen 2-0 to win the Belgian Cup Final. The Great Old had knocked Union out of the competition in the semi-finals, and themselves have a chance at the title and a double. Antwerp are five points off Genk, but a win will close the gap to two points before they face each other at the Bosuil on Sunday afternoon. Union will certainly be hoping that the Antwerp players are still feeling the effect of any celebrations.

Including the cup final, Antwerp have only lost one game in their last 13 matches, picking up an impressive 10 wins in that time. Since losing to Antwerp in the cup, Union have also been on an impressive run. They have lost only one of their last 11, with that loss coming against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League. Of these 11 matches, seven have been wins.

In terms of head to head in the league, the series is even. Antwerp beat Union 4-2 at the end of August, while Union won 2-0 in the middle of January at home. During the regular season, Antwerp had the best defence in the league, conceding just 26 goals in 34 games. Union possessed the more potent attack, with 70 goals in their 34 games, compared to Antwerp’s 59.

A win for either side at the Joseph Marien will give them a great chance of being involved in the title race for the next couple of weeks.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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