Mons vs Leuven
Mons are essentially the same team like last season with minor changes to their roster. They finished in tenth position in last season’s championship and they were able to proceed until the second round of the playoffs but ultimately failed to reach the exit in the Europa League. They also had a good appearance to the Belgian Cup where they arrived until the semifinals.
This year Mons almost maintained the same core players, and tweaked the roster very little. The club is still in question about the serial sale of Jeremy Perbet, last season’s top scorer with 25 goals, he is impacted by other clubs and it is possible to leave if a good offer appear during the next days. If he will be sold they will have some serious problems in scoring, as striker Ibou left the team, while sub striker Makiese joined another club too. The only striker left except Perbet is Aloys Nong. To the preparation friendlies they mostly played against amateur clubs, except a draw against Cercle Brugge (2-2) and a defeat against PAOK Saloniki (2-0), where their defensive line looked quite weak.
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Leuven reached with relative ease their target last season, and ensured first division football, while this new season they will try to do something more than to avoid relegation. Although they closed the season with some great results at play offs, they should definitely improve their defensive behavior, and also their away performances, as the previous season they had just two victories in fifteen games away from home.
During summer they lost some key players like Remacle and Iakovenko, who scored a lot for Leuven last season and gave them important points, and took as a replacement Gambia striker Ibou, while they still seeking to sign another striker, as Bjorn Ruytinx is injured and will return in about six months. To the preparation friendlies they played too with lot of amateur clubs, most serious games was against Lierse (1-1) and Antwerp (1-2 win).
Leuven will try to play a patient game there, having in mind that only Ibou will start in front line and the fact that their defense is much improved at the moment after lot of defenders signed, and will try to exploit Mons weak defensive line with counterattacks. I expect a low scoring game with Leuven to get something there.
Bet: Leuven +0.5 Asian handicap @2.13 with Pinnacle Sports
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