Standard Liege is hosting KRC Genk at Maurice Dufrasne in round 1 of the Belgian Pro League. Standard ended last season in 6th place while ending the Conference League playoffs in 4th place. Genk ended up last season in 2nd place, and they were really close to the title.
Standard is one of Belgium’s most known teams, but they have had a terrible end of the last season, and they haven’t been playing particularly well in the preseason. In their last 6 preseason games, Standard has 4 draws, 1 loss, and only 1 win, and they have conceded at least 1 goal in 5 of those games, 11 goals in total. There are a few great young players in this team, and now that they have matured and are more experienced, Standard should have a better season. Standard has had one big departure in the offseason, and it was Vanhusden who left the club and signed with Inter for 17.6 million Euros. Standard has promoted a few players from their youth program to the first team, but there weren’t any notable arrivals just yet. I don’t expect much from Standard this season, but I think they are good enough to get to the Championship Round spot.
After a decent preseason, Genk was playing in the Belgian Super Cup last week, but they lost. Genk has had 55% of ball possession in that match, 9 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks, 1 big chance created, and a solid 82% of the correct passes. After Genk got ahead in the 44th minute, they conceded a goal just 5 minutes later. In the first 5 minutes of the second half, Genk has conceded 2 more goals, and it was too much for them to come back. Genk did score a goal in the 93rd minute, but they ended up losing this match 3-2, and they failed to win their first trophy of the season. offensively, Genk was one of the best teams in the league last season with 67 scored goals, but their defense wasn’t great with 48 conceded goals. There were a few players who left the club, but the core of the team is still the same. The good news for Genk is their top goalscorer, Onuachu, is still at the club, and if he stays, he will have another good season. Genk is definitely one of the best teams in Belgium, right next to Club Brugge, and I think these two teams will once again compete for the title.
Standard hasn’t lost in their last 5 games, and the trends are on their side in this matchup, but I gotta give the edge to Genk in this one just because they already have one competitive game in their feet, and I think they are the better team here. I will side with Genk in this one.