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Westerlo v Charleroi Preview | Zebras hoping to avoid a repeat of 2011

Westerlo v Charleroi Preview | Zebras hoping to avoid a repeat of 2011
Westerlo v Charleroi Preview | Zebras hoping to avoid a repeat of 2011

The last time Charleroi were relegated to the second tier of Belgian football was back in 2011. Prior to then, they had spent at least four decades in the top flight of Belgian football. Their time in the second tier was short lived, with Dennis van Wijk leading them to an instant return during the 2011/2012 season.

Yet over a decade later, the side are in danger of repeating the disappointment of that 2010/2011 campaign. They have won just once in their last five, scoring two goals in that time as well. With three games to go they sit in 13th place, which, if they remain there, would see them fighting for survival in the relegation play-offs. The winner will remain in the Pro League, with the bottom two going down and second place being involved in a play-off with the winner of the Challenger Pro League play-offs.

Of the games left, on paper at least, Westerlo on Friday night is the best chance that Charleroi have to take three points. After this they face Cercle Brugge and Gent, two sides fighting for a place in the top six. Westerlo have dragged themselves away from the relegation fight, and with a win on Friday night will all but ensure their survival in the Pro League for another year.

Charleroi will be hoping that history repeats itself. Back in November they beat Westerlo 3-2 at home, with Youssuf Sylla coming off the bench to score a 96th minute winner. Failure to win would allow RWDM to overtake them this weekend, with the sides above also having a chance to extend the gap to safety which is currently at just a solitary point.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson