Royal Antwerp

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First Division A

Round Play-offs I

Royal Antwerp 1 - 3 Club Brugge
2022-05-15 14:30 More Reports
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First Division A

Round Play-offs I

2022-05-22 15:00 More Previews
Team details
First Division A
Rank Club GP W D L GS GC GD PTS Previous matches H2H

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Season Guide
2021/2022

Royal Antwerp

In


Michael Frey (att), Fenerbahcee), Abderahmane Soussi (att), Union Saint-Gilloise), Bjorn Engels (def), Aston Villa), Jelle Bataille (mid), Oostende), Michel Ange Balikwisha (att), Standard), Dinis Almeida (def), Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Alhassan Yusuf (mid), IFK Gotteborg)

Out


Simen Juklerød (r)(def), Genk), Lior Refaelov (k)(mid), Anderlecht), Diemurci Mbokani (k)(att), Jordan Lukaku (r)(def), Lazio - end of loan), Jeremy Gelin (r)(def), Stade Rennais - end of loan), Fellipe Avenatti (sp)(att), Standard Liege), Maxime Le Marchand (r)(def), Fuham - end of loan), Alireza Bierenvand (sp)(gk), Boavista - loan), Martin Hongla (r)(mid), Hellas Verona)

Antwerp had a pretty satisfying season last year as they piped Anderlecht for the third place late on and even had their chances to get the second place, but for an untimely injury crisis late on. They once again start the campaign as one of the more impressive squads in the league and even though they are not officially claiming it, the management are certainly expecting at least a push for the title this season from the Good Old. Frank Vercauteren did a good job after coming in mid-season last year but is not being kept on and instead promising Danish coach Brian Priske is the new man in charge. He led Midtjylland to the title in Denmark in 2020 and will come in with reputation for some nice attacking football and bright ideas. The squad saw the two most experienced and consistent players in the past few seasons, Lior Refaelov and Diemurci Mbokani, depart on free transfers while Didier Lamkel Ze is also out in the cold at the moment despite playing quite well in the spring. The most impressive signing so far is Bjorn Engels, coming from the Premier League, and he has the capabilities to become a cornerstone at the back. Michel Ange Balikwisha sealed his move from Standard after long negotiations and he is the sort of dangerous wide attacking player that can really make Antwerp flourish. The main position of weakness is the wing-back role after the departure of Jordan Lukaku but there is likely to be more activity before the start of the season. All in all, Antwerp look like a pretty rounded and strong squad and should have enough to challenge for European places again but need a bit more nous and quality to make a run for the top spot.

Target


All in all, Antwerp look like a pretty rounded and strong squad and should have enough to challenge for European places again but need a bit more nous and quality to make a run for the top spot.

Season Review
2020/2021

№3: Royal Antwerp

Antwerp started the season under new coach Ivan Leko with a sweet win over Club Brugge in the belated Cup final of the previous campaign. Yet, they could not maintain that early momentum and had their stumbles in the league in the first couple of months, dropping points to lower division sides. However, the Good Old started to find their form as the season went on and a run of one loss in eight and four wins in a row briefly even put them top of the table. They also impressed in Europe, beating Tottenham at home on the way to securing a spot in the last-32 of the Europa League. Yet, the toll of the number of games played in condensed time shoed towards the end of 2020 as three losses in a row saw the team lose ground in the race at the summit. Moreover, Leko shocked the club with his decision to quit just six months after taking over and accept a lucrative offer from China. Antwerp turned to an experienced coach like Franckie Vercauteren and he managed to keep the team humming along nicely as the games kept coming thick and fast in 2021. They went on a run of just one loss in eight and solidified their spot as the third best team in the league after Brugge and Genk. Indeed, the team went into the play-offs determined to battle for the second place and a Champions League qualification but a COVID outbreak hit at the worst possible time and Antwerp struggled to get wins in the final six games. Nevertheless, a victory over Anderlecht on the final day secured the third place in the standings and a Europa League slot next season. Given all the off-filed instability, that feels like a pretty good achievement for a team that continues to grow and develop in the last few years and will hope to mount a real title challenge next season.


Player of the Season: Ritchie De Laet

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