With the Belgian Pro League coming to an end over the weekend, the Royal Belgian Football Association announced the play-off schedules for both the Champions’ and Europe Play-offs on Monday afternoon.
Finishing in the top group, also known as the Champions’ Play-offs, four teams will be fighting it out to claim the title and join Europe’s elite in the illustrious Champions League competition next season.
Newcomers to the Pro League, Union St Gilloise, finished in first place on 74 points, just two points ahead of Club Brugge, who will hope to retain the title that they won last season. In the third spot is Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht on 64 points, followed closely by Sam Vines and Royal Antwerp on 63. Each of the teams will play each other twice, both home and away with a total of 18 points up for grabs.
To make the competition more open and perhaps more exciting, every team will have its total points from the regular season cut in half. If that happens to be an odd number, such as with Antwerp, the points will be rounded up. The top group and points are as follows:
|Union St. Gilloise||37|
In the European group, Mark McKenzie’s Genk barely edged out Sint Truiden for the eighth and final spot. The points in this group will also be halved and this is how the teams will line up:
The winner of this group will go up against the fourth place team in the top group and slug it out for a European place. All of this could change however, depending on the outcome of the Belgian Cup that will be contested on Easter Monday between Gent and Anderlecht.
The play-offs get underway April 24th when Vines and Antwerp travel to the Jan Breydel Stadium. McKenzie and Genk get underway on April 23rd when they travel west to take on Cup finalists Gent. Both Americans’ full schedule is as follows:
|April 24||Gent vs Genk|
|April 24||Club Brugge vs Antwerp|
|April 29||Genk vs Mechelen|
|May 1||Antwerp vs USG|
|May 6||Charleroi vs Genk|
|May 8||Antwerp vs Anderlecht|
|May 10||Genk vs Charleroi|
|May 12||Anderlecht vs Antwerp|
|May 15||Antwerp vs Club Brugge|
|May 15||Genk vs Gent|
|May 21||Mechelen vs Genk|
|May 22||USG vs Antwerp|