D-Day in the Belgian First Division

At 6pm on Sunday evening the last 8 matches of the Belgian First Division will be played simultaneously. Just before 8pm we will know which teams will take part in Play-off I, which teams will play in Play-off II and which team will drop to the second flight next season.

There is still a lot at stake with three clubs still in the running for the last available place in the top 6 and Play-off I. Similarly at the foot of the table three teams are still in danger of finishing bottom and being relegated.

In Play-off I the top 6 team play each other home and away. Before the start of Play-off I each team’s points tally is halved. The team that wins Play-off I are league champions and earn a place in the UEFA Champions League. The second and third placed teams also have a chance of European football. With the second placed team entering the qualifying round of the Champions League and the third-placed team the qualifying round of the Europa League. 

Standard de Liège is currently in pole position the final Play-off I place. However, Standard have a tricky away game at KV Mechelen and could lose out to either Zulte Waregem or KV Kortrijk. KV Kortrijk take on Sporting Anderlecht in Brussels.

Anderlecht have taken just 1 point from their last 3 games and suffered a defeat in the Europa League on Thursday. A win for KV Kortrijk and defeat for Standard would see the West Flemings make it into Play-off I proving that Zulte Waregem don’t win their game at Mouscron-Péruwelz.

Zulte Waregem will be in Play-off I proving they win and Kortijk and Standard don’t.

Play-off II

Play-off II is made up of two groups comprising 4 teams. The winner of each group pays in the Play-off II final for the chance to play for a place in the qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League against the team that finished 4th in Play-off I.

The drop spot

With the reform of the Belgian Football League there is no Play-off III and just one team will be relegated from the First Division.

For both the bottom and next to bottom teams Sunday evening’s games will be their last of the season.

Westerlo must win their game against Waasland-Beveren and hope that Sint-Truiden loses at home against Lokeren and OH Leuven doesn’t take any points from its home game against the league-leaders Club Brugge.