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Belgian Pro League | Gameweek 2
Aug 5, 2023 at 5.15pm UK
Jan Breydelstadion

Cercle Brugge
2 - 0
Charleroi

Somers (16'), Denkey (43' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)

Knezevic (58'), Boukamir (76'), Heymans (80')

Preview: Cercle Brugge vs. Charleroi - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Belgian Pro League clash between Cercle Brugge and Charleroi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Cercle Brugge are slight favourites to secure their first Belgian Pro League victory of the new season when they host Charleroi at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Saturday.

A 1-0 defeat in gameweek one saw the Bruges outfit slip to a loss against the defending champions Royal Antwerp, while Charleroi secured a 1-1 home draw when they hosted Oud-Heverlee Leuven.


Match preview

It was going to take a storming performance by Cercle Brugge to stop Antwerp in their first Pro League game since claiming the title on a dramatic final day last term, and so it proved.

The goal that won the game was scored by Jesper Daland at the wrong end just before the interlude, but Miron Muslic's men could not respond despite a brief spell of pressure at the start of the second half.

A positive in defeat was the 1-0 score, undoubtedly an upgrade in performance after letting in seven in a 7-2 thrashing by Lille in their final pre-season friendly.

However, their lack of a cutting edge in front of goal was recognised before the season's commencement, with three of the club's four games ending without Cercle Brugge scoring.

Thus, Saturday's game represents a chance to find the back of the net and possibly win — something that has been a rarity for the club from Bruges.

As for Charleroi, who ended outside the continental playoff spots last season, they secured a creditable opening-day draw at home to Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

The circumstances of the point hurt from one perspective — Nathaniel Opoku's leveller came in the 84th minute — but a closer assessment shows OHL deserved the draw.

The Zebras played over 70 minutes short-handed in gameweek one, following Nikola Stulic's sending-off for violent conduct in minute 17, shortly after Oday Dabbagh put the home side ahead.

In the end, Felice Mazzu's team had to make do with a point, but they hope to avoid a repeat of playing an extended time disadvantaged on Saturday as they were in gameweek one.

Charleroi will be wary before this weekend's encounter due to a 4-1 beatdown in the corresponding fixture last season.

Cercle Brugge Belgian Pro League form:

Charleroi Belgian Pro League form:


Team News

Edgaras Utkus had to go off nine minutes after replacing Boris Popovic, and the injury sustained in Cercle's opening-day clash — now confirmed as a thigh muscle rupture — would keep him out of action for a while.

Despite his own goal, Daland is expected to start as one of the three centre-backs in the home side's 3-4-1-2.

Stulic is suspended for Charleroi after getting sent off early in gameweek one's clash with Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

The away side are sweating over the fitness of Marco Ilaimaharitra, who went off late on against OHL, but that does not depict the Zebras' injury bugbear — Nadhir Benbouali is out with a cruciate ligament rupture, Ken Nkuba is not expected back until September, while Jackson Tchatchoua (neck), Youssouph Badji (ankle), Jules Van Cleemput (tendonitis) and Damien Marcq (back) are all out.


Cercle Brugge possible starting lineup:
Warleson; Ravych, Popovic, Daland; Siquet, Francis, Van Der Bruggen, Deman; Gboho; Denkey, Somers

Charleroi possible starting lineup:
Koffi; Boukamir, Andreou, Knezevic; Rogelj, Morioka, Zorgane, Heymans, Mbenza; Bernier, Dabbagh


SM words green background

We say: Cercle Brugge 1-1 Charleroi

Despite losing the corresponding clash last season, Charleroi should get a point at a ground they got hammered 4-1 last term.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Cercle Brugge vs Charleroi

Cercle Brugge
68.8%
Draw
12.5%
Charleroi
18.8%
16
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Netherlands Netherlands21104
2 France France21104
3 Austria Austria21013
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Romania Romania21013
2 Belgium Belgium21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Ukraine Ukraine21013

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Portugal Portugal22006
2 Turkey Turkey21013
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic20111
4 Georgia Georgia20111


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