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Anderlecht Takes on Newly Promoted AntwerpPublished July 28, 2017 by Florin P
Antwerp faces the reigning champions Anderlecht in the opening match of the Pro League (7:30 p.m UK Time).
Anderlecht are the reigning champions in the Belgian first division and the perennial favorites to lift the trophy. This season, they strive to put some distance between them and the rest of the pack, before the Champions League campaign begins. The visitors can start by claiming three valuable points on the road against Antwerp a newly promoted from the second division.
Back-to-back Victories for both Teams
Anderlecht won six of the last seven games, including five friendly fixtures. They rotated key players during matches and selected their opponents among strong European teams. Despite taking all these games seriously, they managed to avoid injuries and can field a strong starting formation. They will play offensive football even though they don’t have home pitch advantage, since they take on a weaker team.
Antwerp was equally successful in friendly games, but their opponents were teams from Belgian lower divisions. This is the first serious test for players who have spent most of their careers playing in the second leagues. Home pitch advantage is important but unlikely to make a difference against Anderlecht.
Shrinking Odds on the Favorites
Anderlecht has a reputation of playing well away from home and that’s why the odds currently stand at 7/10 with bet365 Sports. There’s enough value to justify a bet on the visiting team, but the odds are expected to shrink as kickoff draws near. Antwerp would gladly settle for one point in this fixture against the strongest team in the Belgian first division and won’t take any chances in the first half.
Playing defensive football with a backline that wasn’t particularly successful in preventing second league strikers from scoring is a dangerous thing. That’s why the risks of the game ending in a scoreless draw are quite small and it’s worth backing the visitors.