MICHAEL ADUBATO - Thursday, March 7, 2013
After a bad week, Anderlecht will welcome their northern neighbors KV Mechelen to the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in their penultimate league game of the season before the play-offs begin.
Anderlecht hadn't lost in the league in 20 games, going all the way back to October of last year, until last weekend against Zulte Waregem. To make matters worse, les Mauves lost to midweek to be ousted out of the Belgian Cup at the semi-finals stage.
In the semi-final game, which les Mauves lost on penalties, their prolific striker Dieumerci Mbokani was shown a red card for kicking Genk defender Jeroen Simaeys. The Belgian FA decided that the Congolese should be suspended for two games for the kick and another for insulting the referee. He also has to sit out a fourth for an earlier ban that will now become effective. This means that the scorer of 17 league goals will miss the last two games of the season and the first two games of the play-offs.
American Sacha Kljestan will be on the field however for the defending Belgian champions but Matais Suarez is still doubtful, although he could make the bench, after coming back from injury.
Mechelen, who are currently in seventh place, lost to Anderlecht last year in league play by a score of 4-1 in a game where midfielder Tom De Sutter registered a hat trick.