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Belgian Pro League | Gameweek 9
May 17, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Stadion Stayen
OH Leuven

1 - 1

Kaya (66')
Junior Bocat (37'), Smets (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Sint-Truiden vs. Leuven - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Belgian Pro League clash between Sint-Truiden and Leuven, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sint-Truiden and Leuven meet on Friday evening merely playing for pride having already missed out on European qualification.

However, although Gent have already secured top spot in the playoffs, these two Belgian Pro League sides are still in the running for the runner-up position.

Match preview

Reims coach Oscar Garcia on January 23, 2022© Reuters

When these two sides ended the regular season, there was an 11-point gap in favour of Sint-Truiden, who finished as high as ninth and Leuven down in 12th.

Furthermore, the visitors on Friday only avoided dropping into the relegation playoff on goal difference, an indication of the gulf in class between the teams.

Since then, though, Sint-Truiden have underperformed in their quest for continental qualification, going on a five-game winless streak to push that target out of their reach.

Momentum had been in the favour having salvaged a 3-3 draw at home to Standard Liege, but losing to Leuven in the reverse fixture and Gent in the following match dented their hopes.

As a result, they trail Gent, who have already qualified for a European playoff tie with either Cercle Brugge or Genk, by 10 points with two matches left.

On a positive note, Thorsten Fink's side did record a 2-1 victory over Mechelen last time out, ensuring they moved to within one point of the second-placed outfit.

In Leuven's case, they have impressively won four of their last six encounters to also remain in the hunt for second place, only losing to Mechelen during that period.

Oscar Garcia may have lost 11 of his 27 matches since taking charge in November, but there are signs that the Spaniard is starting to make an impact.

Aside from the 3-0 reverse at Mechelen, Leuven have conceded just three goals in their other most recent six fixtures, one of three clean sheets coming in a victory at Gent on Sunday.

Sint-Truiden Belgian Pro League form:

Leuven Belgian Pro League form:

Team News

With Sint-Truiden having finally ended their winless streak, Fink appears likely to retain the same starting lineup from the Mechelen fixture.

Fatih Kaya, Rihito Yamamoto and Wolke Janssens were all introduced with 17 minutes left in that contest, but may have to make do with a spot among the replacements.

Attacker Adriano Bertaccini made it three goals and one assist in his last two matches by netting a double on Sunday.

Suphanat Mueanta was introduced as a half-time substitute at Gent and appears likely to take a spot down the centre of the Leuven attack.

Nachon Nsingi may be the player to miss out, while Florian Miguel and Kento Misao are alternatives at left wing-back and midfield if Garcia wants a fresher look to his team.

Sint-Truiden possible starting lineup:
Suzuki; Van Helden, Godeau, Smets; Vanwesemael, Delorge, Ito, Bocat; Bertaccini, Zahiroleslam, Koita

Leuven possible starting lineup:
Prevot; Schingtienne, Ricca, Russo; Akimoto, Banzuzi, Dom, Mendyl; Maziz; Maertens, Mueanta

SM words green background

We say: Sint-Truiden 1-2 Leuven

Although Sint-Truiden hold home advantage, we cannot look past Leuven prevailing against Gent on away territory last time out. With that in mind, we are backing a hard-fought triumph for the visitors on Friday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS
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3RWD MolenbeekRWDM62133976-3730
Championship Round
1Club BruggeBrugge972083354849
2Union SGUnion SG932478433546
5Cercle BruggeCercle Brugge933357471036
6Royal AntwerpAntwerp910859441529
Conference League Play-off Group
5Standard Liege80534360-1722
Regular Season
1Union SGUnion SG30217263313270
3Royal AntwerpAntwerp301410655272852
4Club BruggeBrugge30149762293351
7Cercle BruggeCercle Brugge301451144341047
10Standard Liege30810123341-834
16RWD MolenbeekRWDM3058173167-3623

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