Standard Liege v Mouscron | Sunday 18th August 2019, 13:30
Two games in and Standard Liege looked as if they could be potentially title challengers this season. However, all hope of that drained with an away loss to St. Truiden last time out, the kind of result which has so often cost Liege in making the step up to really contest the top spots for a number of seasons now.
However, they are still the kind of side which can beat anyone on their day, and they’ll be eager to bounce back after losing unexpectedly.
Mouscron are the sort of side which pretty much every team in the league will feel as though they have a chance of beating. They aren’t one of the big names in Belgian football, however they are certainly one of those clubs who punches above their weight and are more than competitive in this league. They’ll generally finish around the middle spots, so Liege really are a better team, but the hosts will be made to work for victory on Sunday.
Three games in, Mouscron are actually one of only four teams in the top flight yet to taste defeat so far. Remember that they’ve defeated Gent at home and drew away to Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht, so they’ve had to do things the hard way.
This particular fixture has generally been one to favour the home team. Of the last 12 competitive renewals, the host has emerged victorious eight times. That may not necessarily look too good for Mouscron on the road this weekend, but we’re going to swerve the 1×2 lines, and for good reason.
I believe goals is the angle we really need to be attacking on this occasion. We only have three games of the regular season to go off, but last season’s numbers tells quite a story. Liege actually failed to keep a clean sheet in 15 of their 20 home matches, which includes regular season and domestic European play-off qualification fixtures.
Mouscron actually scored in 11/15 away from home, proving that they retain a threat. We mentioned how teams feel they should be beating them, so they’ll commit plenty forward and be often caught out on the break.
BTTS has paid out in five of the last seven H2H’s, and I’m happy for that to be our selection here at 22/25 (888).
FC Twente v RKC Waalwijk | Sunday 18th August 2019, 13:30
Twente take on Waalwijk on Sunday afternoon, only this time in the Eredivisie having both won promotion out of the Dutch second tier last season.
Twente were rather easy winners of the league outright on 80 points, some 11 clear of Sparta Rotterdam in second position. Waalwijk needed the play-offs having finished eighth in the regular campaign on 59 points. Twente won the home meeting last season 3-1, whilst Waalwijk won 4-1 at home. Twente also won a domestic cup tie, too.
The Tukkers have started life back in the big time very well. They opened up the campaign with a very creditable home draw with PSV, a side they last beat in May 2013. It was then backed up with a fine 3-1 away success over Groningen, given Twente fans hope that this season could be one with higher aspirations than merely avoiding relegation. They’ve been used to winning games for a number of months now, and they want that feeling to continue.
Waalwijk are back in the big league themselves having spent the past five seasons in the Eerste Divisie. They had finished either 18th or 20th in three of those seasons before producing marked improvement last year to confirm promotion. They’ve started the campaign disappointingly however, losing away to Venlo before going down at home to AZ, which was probably expected. They’ll believe they can get something this weekend, but they’ve only won once away in Twente in recent records, that being in 2012.
Twente are seemingly still on the crest of a wave following their title-winning year. They’ve kicked on again and they will fancy their chances of getting another victory under their belts. One thing they have become is very clinical, as they’ve actually only had ten shots on goal across their two opening league contests, yet they’ve scored four goals. Bear in mind they’ve faced a strong PSV side and then an away game, so that has to be factored into the equation.
Home form will be key for them this season and they’ll go all-out for another win here. They should get it, and Waalwijk were a little inconsistent on the road last season, whilst winning nine, they also lost nine, drawing only once. If they’re too open here, they’ll get beat, so Twente are the team to side with on the -1 Asian Handicap at 8/11 (888).