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Belgian football : Belgian First Division 2016/2017 season preview

Club Brugge end 11-year Belgian title wait

Club Brugge have won their 14th Belgian title and their first in 11 years after beating closest rivals Anderlecht 4-0 at home to end the race with two games remaining in the post-season play-offs. Throughout the regular 2015/16 season Brugge were remarkably inconsistent with coach Michel Preud'homme's rotation policy eliciting much criticism from both fans and media. However, Brugge have been crowned Belgian champions for the first time since 2005 and ensured participation in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

  • Champions: Club Brugge (Champions League group stage)
  • Anderlecht (Champions League QR3)
  • Standard Liege (UEFA Europa League group stage)
  • Gent (UEFA Europa League QR3)
  • Genk (UEFA Europa League QR2)
  • Charleroi (UEFA Europa League QR2)
  • Relegated: Leuven
  • Promoted: Eupen

Leuven were relegated after finishing last in the 2015/16 season, while second-division runners-up Eupen were promoted due to the fact that second-division champions Brussels were refused a Belgian professional football license.

teamtitles11/1212/1313/1414/1515/16
Anderlecht3311132
Club Brugge1423321
Standard10542410
Mechelen49911711
Genk335694
Beveren2-12131413
Gent1471013
Zulte Waregem-1324136
Lokeren-86589
Kortrijk-614867
Charleroi--11958
Oostende---7115
Westerlo-15--1215
Mouscron----1012
Sint-Truiden-16---14
Eupen------

The number of titles since 1896. Cercle Brugge - the Belgian champions 1911, 1927 and 1930. Beerschot, the Belgian champions 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1938, and 1939, merged into Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen (GBA), now Beerschot.

Rene Weiler appointed new Anderlecht coach

Anderlecht have agreed to appoint Rene Weiler as their new head coach. The 42-year-old former Switzerland international replaces Besnik Hasi who left for Legia Warsaw earlier in the year. Weiler, 42, led Nuremburg to third place in Germany's second division last season but they failed get back to the Bundesliga after losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in a promotion-relegation playoff. He also managed Swiss sides Aarau, Schaffhausen, St. Gallen and Winterthur. Anderlecht are in the Champions League qualifiers after finishing second last season.

This page contains additional information about the 2016/2017 Belgian First Division season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > Belgium page.

Ivan Leko named Sint-Truiden coach

Ivan Leko is the new coach of Sint-Truiden after the contracts of the South African duo, Chris O'Loughlin and Benni McCarthy, were terminated by mutual consent. With Sint-Truiden having survived relegation on the final day last season, the former Leuven boss will have a huge task on its hands to retain the club's top-flight status this season. Leko made 13 appearances for the Croatian national team, and was called up to the squad to participate in the 2006 World Cup, but played no part in the tournament. Most recently, he was the assistant manager of Greek side PAOK.

#teampointsg.dif.win-draw-loss
Group 1
1Brugge545028-2-10 (40)
2Anderlecht472121-11-8 (40)
3AA Gent422220-12-8 (40)
4Genk401919-7-14 (40)
5Oostende36617-9-14 (40)
6Waregem27-1113-9-18 (40)
Group 2
1Kortrijk14414-11-11 (36)
2Standard10-715-6-15 (36)
3Mouscron5-158-11-17 (36)
4Beveren4-2510-7-19 (36)
Group 3
1Charleroi11413-11-12 (36)
2Lokeren11011-12-13 (36)
3Mechelen7-912-8-16 (36)
4Sint-Truiden3-248-9-19 (36)

Belgian football league playoff standings for season 2015/2016

Bookmakers tip Club Brugge for Belgian title

According to online bookmakers, Club Brugge is the favourite team to win this year's Belgian championship. Their main title rivals are Anderlecht and Gent.

teamoddsteamodds
Club Brugge2.5Charleroi101
Anderlecht3.25Zulte Waregem101
Gent3.75Lokeren151
Genk12Sint-Truiden251
Standard Liege12Waasland-Beveren501
Oostende41Westerlo501
Mechelen51Mouscron701
Kortrijk81Eupen701

Preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2016/17 Belgian football league

Belgian Cup finals in last five years

2016   Standard Liege - Club Brugge   2:1
2015   Club Brugge - Anderlecht   2:1
2014   Lokeren - Zulte Waregem   1:0
2013   Genk - Cercle Brugge   2:0
2012   Lokeren - Kortrijk   1:0

key players
(transfer market value in m€)

Anderlecht

Goalkeeper Davy Roef (1.5); Defense: Andy Najar (6), Kara (4.5), Sebastien De Maio (3), Ivan Obradovic (3); Midfield: Youri Tielemans (14), Dennis Praet (9), Leander Dendoncker (8), Steven Defour (6); Forward: Stefano Okaka (6.5), Idrissa Sylla (2.5).

Brugge

Goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle (1.5); Defense: Bjorn Engels (6.5), Stefano Denswil (4), Laurens De Bock (3.5), Ricardo van Rhijn (2.5); Midfield: Hans Vanaken (5.5), Jose Izquierdo (5.5), Ruud Vormer (5), Tomas Pina (3.5); Forward: Abdoulaye Diaby (6), Jelle Vossen (4).

Charleroi

Goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau (0.6); Defense: Dorian Dessoleil (0.6), Stergos Marinos (0.6), Francis N'Ganga (0.6), Steeven Willems (0.6); Midfield: Sotiris Ninis (1.5), Damien Marcq (1.2), Clinton Mata (1), Enes Saglik (1); Forward: Djamel Bakar (1), David Pollet (0.8).

Eupen

Goalkeeper Hendrik van Crombrugge (0.4); Defense: Diawandou Diagne (0.7), Raoul Kenne (0.5), Siebe Blondelle (0.4); Midfield: Jose Maria Cases (0.5), Jeffren (0.5), Samuel Asamoah (0.4), Guy Dufour (0.4), Eric Ocansey (0.4); Forward: Florian Taulemesse (0.5), Henry Onyekuru (0.5).

Genk

Goalkeeper Marco Bizot (1.2); Defense: Sebastien Dewaest (3.5), Anele Ngcongca (2), Timothy Castagne (2); Midfield: Leon Bailey (7.5), Onyinye Ndidi (6), Neeskens Kebano (4.5), Alejandro Pozuelo (3), Leandro Trossard (2); Forward: Nikolaos Karelis (4), Mbwana Samatta (1.5).

Gent

Goalkeeper Jacob Rinne (0.5); Defense: Lasse Nielsen (2.5), Nana Asare (2.5), Stefan Mitrovic (2); Midfield: Sven Kums (7.5), Renato Neto (4), Brecht Dejaegere (4), Moses Simon (4), Danijel Milicevic (3.5); Forward: Laurent Depoitre (6.5), Jeremy Perbet (2).

Kortrijk

Goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski (0.7); Defense: Romain Metanire (2), Joaozinho (0.7), Samuel Gigot (0.6); Midfield: Gertjan De Mets (1), Herve Kage (0.9), Xavier Mercier (0.9), Stijn De Smet (0.8), Elohim Rolland (0.8); Forward: Idriss Saadi (1), Athanasios Papazoglou (0.8).

Lokeren

Goalkeeper Davino Verhulst (0.8); Defense: Sverrir Ingi Ingason (1), Georgios Galitsios (0.8), Mario Ticinovic (0.8), Mijat Maric (0.7); Midfield: Ayanda Patosi (2), Killian Overmeire (1.5), Sergiy Bolbat (0.9), Evariste Ngolok (0.8); Forward: Tom De Sutter (1.2), Jaja Coelho (1).

Mechelen

Goalkeeper Colin Coosemans (0.6); Defense: Seth De Witte (1), Edin Cocalic (0.9), Laurens Paulussen (0.7); Midfield: Yohan Croizet (1.2), Mats Rits (0.9), Glenn Claes (0.8), Nils Schouterden (0.8), Dimitrios Kolovos (0.8); Forward: Nicolas Verdier (1), Dalibor Veselinovic (0.6).

Oostende

Goalkeeper Silvio Proto (2); Defense: Zarko Tomasevic (1.5), Antonio Milic (1.2), Bruno Godeau (0.9), Brecht Capon (0.9); Midfield: Fernando Canesin (2.5), Knowledge Musona (2.2), Sebastien Siani (2), Andile Jali (2); Forward: Cyriac (2.5), Joseph Akpala (0.9).

Royal Excel Mouscron

Goalkeeper Vagner (0.8); Defense: Noe Dusenne (1.5), Cristian Manea (1), Thibault Peyre (0.6); Midfield: Julian Michel (1.2), Luka Stojanovic (0.7), Anice Badri (0.7), David Hubert (0.6), Filip Markovic (0.5); Forward: Valentin Viola (0.8), Simon Diedhiou (0.6).

Sint-Truiden

Goalkeeper William Dutoit (2); Defense: Djene (0.8), Ruben Fernandes (0.8), Jorge Pulido (0.5), Damien Dussaut (0.5); Midfield: Roman Bezus (2.5), Pierrick Valdivia (1.3), Allan (0.8), Pieter Gerkens (0.8); Forward: Yohan Boli (0.7), Nick Proschwitz (0.5).

Standard

Goalkeeper Guillaume Hubert (0.8); Defense: Alexander Scholz (4.5), Milos Kosanovic (3), Corentin Fiore (2), Reginal Goreux (1.3); Midfield: Mathieu Dossevi (4.5), Adrien Trebel (4), Edmilson Junior (3), Ibrahima Cisse (2.2); Forward: Ivan Santini (2.2), Mohamed Yattara (1.2).

Waasland-Beveren

Goalkeeper Laurent Henkinet (0.6); Defense: Laurent Jans (1), Jonathan Buatu Mananga (0.8), Erdin Demir (0.5); Midfield: Steeven Langil (1.2), Ibrahima Seck (0.9), Francois Marquet (0.7), Jens Cools (0.7); Forward: Siebe Schrijvers (1.5), Zinho Gano (1), Floriano Vanzo (0.7).

Westerlo

Goalkeeper Koen Van Langendonck (0.7); Defense: Kenneth Schuermans (0.6), Mitch Apau (0.6), Herve Matthys (0.5), Oto'o (0.5); Midfield: Khaleem Hyland (0.7), Robin Henkens (0.5), Jarno Molenberghs (0.4), Maxime Annys (0.4); Forward: Michalis Manias (0.8), Eduards Visnakovs (0.6).

Zulte-Waregem

Goalkeeper Sammy Bossut (1.2); Defense: Bryan Verboom (1.5), Henrik Dalsgaard (1), Brian Hamalainen (0.8); Midfield: Onur Kaya (1.2), Christophe Lepoint (1), Soualiho Meite (0.9), Karim Essikal (0.9), Alessandro Cordaro (0.8); Forward: Obbi Oulare (6), Igor Vetokele (2).

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