Restart of Jupiler Pro League for dummies: special Christmas game day, last time in current format and unseen relegation battle

Christmas playday in three acts, no more winter break

For the first time ever, the Pro League has decided to play the Christmas Day on three different days around the weekend. Seraing and Eupen start tonight at 6.30 pm and there are two more games at 8.30 pm. On Monday, Boxing Day, there will be four games from noon to evening, and two more games on Tuesday-evening (December 27).

There is no football around the New Year’s weekend, but there will be competition again from January 6 and then the matches will follow each other in rapid succession. There is therefore no question of a winter break for 1A clubs. The first matchdays of the new year will be a feast for the eyes, because with Antwerp-Gent (Saturday 7 January), Genk-Club Brugge and Anderlecht-Union (Sunday 8 January) there will be no less than three toppers in one weekend at the beginning of January. A week later, another Super Sunday is scheduled with Club Brugge-Anderlecht and Union-Antwerp. We even get the first top poster after the World Cup tonight with Gent-Standard.

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Three sags, one riser

For the teams that are at the bottom, it is immediately do or die. No fewer than three clubs will drop directly this season because the competition will be played with sixteen again from next year. Seraing, KV Kortrijk and Zulte Waregem currently occupy the relegation places, but Eupen, KV Oostende and even Charleroi, among others, still have to score a lot of points. Last season’s number fifteen needed 32 points to finish in that position. The clubs at the bottom know what to do.

In any case, we will only get one PhD student from 1B this season. It will also be exciting there – after the winter break: six teams will compete in play-offs (without halving the points) for promotion. U21 teams can participate in those play-offs, but cannot promote. Currently, Beveren, Beerschot and RWDM have the best credentials.


Last time Champions’ and Europe play-offs

The title fight in 1A is currently less exciting, although there are of course still Champions’ play-offs (1-4) and Europe play-offs (5-8) at the end of the season. With half the points. And that will be necessary if the other top clubs want to knock RC Genk off the throne. The Limburgers already have a ten point lead on Union, eleven on Antwerp and thirteen (!) on Club Brugge.

From next season, play-off 1 and play-off 2, each with six teams and the points halved, will be revived. The last four will play a post-competition in 2023-2024 with two direct descenders and possibly a third.

The champion of this season must also play preliminary rounds next summer to get into the Champions League group stage. But from next year, the national champion will already have that direct Champions League ticket back. Thanks to the great performances in Europe this season. Club Brugge will play on February 15 (at home) and March 7 (away) in the 1/8th finals of the Champions League against Benfica. AA Gent will take on Qarabag in the intermediate round of the Conference League (16 and 23 February). Anderlecht plays against Ludogorets. Union is already qualified for the 1/8th finals of the Europa League (9 and 16 March) and can skip the intermediate round.


Two more teams with a match less

Since yesterday Anderlecht knows its punishments for the misconduct of its own supporters on the field of Standard, Charleroi is still waiting for a verdict about the suspended match against KV Mechelen. On paper, Charleroi and Mechelen have currently played one game less than the rest. Charleroi fans, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the club’s policy, disrupted the last match before the World Cup break three times. First with tennis balls, later with flares on the field. In minute 68 the match was called off, at that moment Charleroi was 1-0 ahead. Just like Anderlecht, the Carolos will have a flat defeat on their pants. In addition, the federal prosecutor’s office asks for three games behind closed doors. The final decision will not be made until March 10.

Get rid of (late) Sunday evening football

The Pro League came yesterday with good news for many fans. From match day 24, there will be no more matches on Sunday evening at 9 p.m. The kick-off of the last game of the weekend is brought forward to 7.15 PM or 7.30 PM. The Pro League has decided this in consultation with supporters federation Belgian Supporters and rights holder Eleven Sports, among others. Many fans complained about the late start time and sometimes associated long journeys the day before a working day. On Sunday evening, January 29, RC Genk and Seraing have the honor of playing for the last time on Sunday at 9 p.m. The kick-off will be brought forward from Sunday evening 5 February.



18.30 Seraing- Eupen

20.30 AA Gent- Standard

20.30 KV Mechelen-Cercle Bruges


13.30 Club Brugge- OHL

16.00 Union-KV Oostende

18.15 KV Kortrijk-RC Genk

20.45 Charleroi-Anderlecht


20.00 Westerlo-Antwerp

20.00 STVV – Zulte Waregem


1. RC Genk 46

2. Union 36

3. Antwerp 35

4. Club Bruges 33

5. AA Gent 30

6. Standard 28

7. Westerlo 26

8. OHL 25

9. Bruges Club 25

10. STVV 23

11. Anderlecht 20

12. Charleroi 19

13. KV Mechelen 18

14. KV Ostend 17

15. Eupen 16

16. Zulte Waregem 13

17. KV Kortrijk 12

18. Seraing 11

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