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Kortrijk vs KV Mechelen
When: Sunday, April 18 – 18:00 CEST
Where: Guldensporen Stadion in Kortrijk, Belgium
Weather: Mostly cloudy with showers, 12 °C
Referee: Wim Smet
Tonight’s game between Kortrijk and KV Mechelen will be an extremely important one for the visitors. Wouter Vrancken’s men are only one point short of a top-eight finish that would send into the Conference League Cup.
Kortrijk have much less on the line, as they’re already out of the race for the playoffs. Due to the questionable motivation to win, there is one team that we like far more for this match.
KV Mechelen Prefer Road Games
KV Mechelen enter this match with a 12-9-12 record on the season and 45 points. They’ve won only one league game in their last five outings, but it was their most recent against Waregem (4-2).
Across their last five league games, KV Mechelen lost two against Oostende (0-2) and St. Truiden (1-2), drew two against Anderlecht (1-1) and Leuven (2-2) and won the aforementioned game with Waregem.
Although not exactly a promising record, there is one positive ahead of this bout. KV Mechelen perform much better on the road. They’re 7-4-5 in away fixtures with 25 points – fourth-most in the league.
Across their last five away games, KV Mechelen lost against St.Truiden and Oostende, drew with Anderlecht, and won against Beerschot VA (2-1) and Cercle Brugge KSV (1-0).
In comparison to Kortrijk’s home record (5-2-9), KV Mechelen took eight more points on the road. What’s more, Kortrijk are 0-5 across the last five home games.
Kortrijk’s Questionable Motivation
De Kerels are more or less done with their season, with no chance to secure a top-eight. With an 11-6-16 record and 39 points, Kortrijk are seven points short of the top-eight and relegation zone.
Much of Kortrijk’s struggles this season are due to their leaky defense. Luka Elsner’s team have conceded 53 goals in 33 games, which might not be terrible had they scored a few more.
Kortrijk have managed only 43 goals this season (1.31/match). They scored eight across their last five outings, however, four came against weak defensive teams in Waasland-Beveren and one against Waregem.
To make matters worse, Elsner won’t be able to count on Kristof D’Haene, Ante Palaversa, Trent Sainsbury, and Jovan Stojanović, who are all out with an injury.
Kortrijk vs KV Mechelen Betting Picks
Kortrijk won’t be the only team missing players tonight. KV Mechelen will be without the injured Joachim Van Damme and Gaetan Coucke, as well as Issa Kabore, who has picked up a suspension against Waregem. Gustav Engvall and Bas Van den Eynden are both doubtful.
Despite their long list of absences, KV Mechelen won’t be missing as many key players as the hosts.
KV Mechelen have been playing without Van Damme, Coucke, Van den Eynden, and Sainsbury for a while and they haven’t looked much worse. So, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt to perform well tonight.
KV Mechelen need to win this match, whereas a loss, draw or a win doesn’t change much for Kortrijk. Being a match that is more of a formality rather than a must-win bout, it’s hard to expect Kortrijk to shine.
And it’s not only the lack of motivation on the side of the hosts. KV Mechelen are the better team of the two and should be viewed as strong favorites – especially at the Guldensporen Stadion, where Kortrijk haven’t tasted victory since January.
Prediction: KV Mechelen -0.5 – 1.813 Pinnacle