Tom De Sutter's goals have helped RSC Anderlecht keep pace with R. Standard de Liège at the top of the Belgian league, but the 23-year-old says the golden shoe will only be "a nice extra" should Les Mauves claim their 30th title.
With three games to go, champions Standard and Anderlecht share first place with identical records – P31 W22 D4 L5. Both sides are already assured of entry to the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but the Eerste Klasse crown is in the balance, and with goal difference counting for nothing in the final reckoning, it may take a two-legged play-off to decide the title.
Each contender won at the weekend – Anderlecht 4-0 at home to FCV Dender ECH, and Standard 4-1 against visitors KV Mechelen. De Sutter took advantage by registering his eighth and ninth league goals for the Brussels club since his winter move from Cercle Brugge KSV. Those strikes, combined with the seven he notched for Cercle, have taken the Belgian international level with the frontrunners, Standard's Dieu Mbokani and KVC Westerlo's Jaime Ruiz, on 16 goals in the scoring chart.
However, De Sutter is adamant Belgium's golden shoe will mean little unless it accompanies a championship medal. "I'm only interested if I can get both prizes," he said. "Being top scorer would be good for my CV and it would be a nice extra alongside the championship. I think we have an easier run-in than Standard, but we have to play every match with the same mentality and collect all nine points."
Anderlecht play AFC Tubize (A), KSV Roeselare (H) and KRC Genk (A) in their final games while Standard are up against SV Zulte Waregem (A), Club Brugge KV (H) and KAA Gent (A). Standard striker Milan Jovanović knows it will be tough for the titleholders, not least because Gent are coached by Michel Preud'homme, who led the Liege outfit to their first league crown in 25 years last term.
"Club Brugge at home is winnable but away to Zulte Waregem and especially Gent it will be very difficult," said Jovanović. "A play-off might be the best we can hope for. I can't see where Anderlecht are going to drop points. Maybe on the last day against Genk, but then we are at Gent, and Michel Preud'homme will be determined to win against us. Absolutely determined."
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