In recent years- more precisely, the last seven years- Belgian football has risen to world recognition and acceptance. The National team has remained in the first position in the FIFA world rankings for the better parts of three years. For whatever that is worth, the Jupiler Pro League must take immense credit for the discovery and development of these superstars.
Top players like Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld and more recently, Jeremy Doku have all passed through this effective incubator.
Club Brugge, Anderlecht, Genk and Standard Liège are some of the top teams in the top division. These clubs have at one time or the other represented the country in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League.
Indeed, Club Brugge, the defending champions are having a great outing in this season’s UCL, garnering four points in a group that includes PSG and Manchester City.
Blauw-Zwart (Blue-Black) currently lead the log with 18 points. Yet, they are far from finishing in first position as they face intense competition from Eupen, Genk and Antwerp who are just a point behind.
The Jupiler Pro League features 18 teams who compete for the title. Each team plays 34 matches in the regular season. The top four sides go on to participate in the Championship playoffs to determine the winner.
Nigeria international, Paul Onuachu won both awards- the Golden Boot and Ball last season after scoring 33 goals for Genk. The 27-year-old has continued from where he left off in this campaign.
The Belgian First Division, similarly, is a great hunting ground for smart punters. Some teams have established consistent patterns in the nine games played so far.
Here are four superb bet options that could fetch good winnings in the course of the season.
Club Brugge To Win Either Half
For how impressive Club Brugge has been on the continent, they have not been as assertive in the Jupiler Pro League.
They are the current leaders but with just one point and the race for a top finish remains keenly contested. The defending Champions have won five matches so far. However, the surprise is the number of draws they have accumulated (3). Their only loss was a 6-1 result away to Gent.
Phillipe Clement has favoured a very direct style of play, alternating between a 4-3-3 and a 5-3-2 formation. He loves to utilise quick passes from midfield into spaces for the forwards to seize.
Noa Lang has been sensational for the side since joining from Ajax last season. The Dutch winger scored 16 goals last season and has continued at just about the same pace this term with three goals and four assists.
Midfielder Hans Vaneken and 20-year-old Charles de Ketelare have proven to be key members of the Bruge-based side.
Interestingly, while Clement’s men haven’t been dominant this season domestically. They have won at least one half in six of nine matches.
Hence, it is particularly safe to back Club Brugge to win either of both halves in most matches in the League.
Over 2.5 Goals In Matches Involving Genk
Genk is one of the top teams in the Jupiler Pro League. They finished fourth in the regular season last time out. They currently sit third with 17 points.
Blau-Wit (Blue-White) came close to qualifying for this season’s UEFA Champions League but lost 4-2 on aggregate to Shakhtar Donetsk in the playoffs.
John van den Brom’s men dropped to the Europa League the season. They are in Group H alongside Premier League team West Ham, Rapid Wien and Dinamo Zagreb.
The four-time league Champions have the joint-best attack in the country with 19 goals and Onuachu has been responsible for nine of them.
Van de Brom is one of the more offensively-inclined managers around and has consistently stuck with his 4-2-3-1 formation with emphasis on aggression off the ball. The side effect, however, is that they become vulnerable when teams find a way to bypass the press. This leads them to commit fouls in dangerous areas and picking up cautions.
Genk has recorded seven over 2.5 goals margins so far. Hence, this is a must-have option for every punter interested in the Belgian League.
Over 5.5 Yellow Cards In Matches Involving Standard Liège
Standard Liège has dropped down the pecking order, at least by their standards, in the Jupiler Pro League.
They finished sixth last season and sit in 11th place in this campaign. Les Rouches have found scoring difficult, averaging just a goal per game so far.
Mbaye Leye’s men have been one of the most undisciplined teams in the division. They have received two red cards and 30 yellow cards in nine matches.
The 10-time league winners tend to throw themselves at tackles in a bid to stop the momentum of the opponent.
With Standard Liège averaging over three yellow cards per league match, it is a wise option for punters to bet on over 5.5 cards in matches involving them.
Goal/Goal In Matches Involving Anderlecht
Anderlecht is the most successful team in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League with 34 domestic titles.
After a successful playing career in the Premier League, which saw Vincent Kompany spend 11 seasons with Manchester City, the former captain joined his boyhood club as a player/coach and has now secured the job permanently.
In his first season, he qualified the team for the Championship playoffs having finished fourth on the table.
This season, they are placed sixth, three points behind Club Brugge in the first position. The former defender plays predominantly with two strikers. However, the goals have been well distributed amongst the forwards.
The Purple-White also tend to concede in every game with clean sheets coming at a premium.
The Brussels-based club has recorded six goal/goal matches this term. Backing Anderlecht to score and concede in the league is one that looks sure to deliver great rewards for punters.