AA Gent took fifth place in last year's competition, clinching a Conference League ticket together with fourth-placed Anderlecht. Gent will be playing the return match next Thursday, Anderlecht only join this new European competition from the next qualifying round.
The Belgian domestic league will kick off again tonight - Belgium traditionally is an early starter. Champions Club Brugge beat Cup winners KRC Genk last week in the Supercup (3-2) and are the favourites for a new title, though they lost midfielder Odilon Kossounou to Leverkusen in a record transfer this week.
Football pundits expect a title fight between Club Brugge and runners-up KRC Genk, as both can build on last season's framework. This is less the case for Standard (who are having financial concerns), Anderlecht (who lost their best players with striker Nmecha and midfielder Sambi Lokonga who has joined Arsenal), Antwerp FC (who have a new coach and who will lose striker Lamkel Zé, after Golden Boot Lior Refaelov and Dieumerci Mbokani left the club) and KAA Gent, who are aiming for fourth place.
The opening game of the new season is Standard-RC Genk tonight. Seraing and Union Sint-Gillis of Brussels are the two newcomers in the top flight, taking the place of Waasland-Beveren and Mouscron.