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Anderlecht set sights on Belgian summit

Published: Thursday 29 July 2010, 16.39CET
New seasons are ready to go in Bulgaria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia while the question in Belgium is how to stop RSC Anderlecht.
Anderlecht set sights on Belgian summit
Taking the Belgian title from Anderlecht looks like a big ask ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 29 July 2010, 16.39CET

Anderlecht set sights on Belgian summit

New seasons are ready to go in Bulgaria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia while the question in Belgium is how to stop RSC Anderlecht.

Five more 2010/11 campaigns begin this weekend, with RSC Anderlecht very much the team to beat in Belgium after their 30th title last season added a third star to their shirts.

With key men Mbark Boussoufa and Romelu Lukaku still in harness, and Sacha Kljestan replacing the departed Jelle Van Damme in midfield, the Brussels side seem irresistible. Coach Ariël Jacobs said: "I am not a fortune-teller so I won't make predictions, but everyone knows we want to win the title again and the Belgian Cup."

Francky Dury has replaced FC Twente-bound Michel Preud'homme in charge of 2009/10 runners-up KAA Gent, while R. Standard de Liège lost Marcos Camozzato and Wilfried Dalmat to Club Brugge KV, and Milan Jovanović to Liverpool FC. Even so, coach Domenico D'Onofrio called new midfielder Emad Meteb "the best signing in the league".

The Bulgarian campaign will kick off with a bang as PFC CSKA Sofia meet arch-rivals PFC Levski Sofia on the opening day, both with new coaches in Pavel Dochev and Yasen Petrov. The Sofia titans will be chasing gold medals but, as PFC Litex Lovech proved in lifting last term's crown, they may not get them.

Hungary's Debreceni VSC have lost a raft of players since their 2010 triumph, with FC Videoton looking well-placed to profit. The big capital clubs – Budapest Honvéd FC, Ferencvárosi TC, MTK Budapest, Újpest FC and Vasas SC – appear unlikely to challenge, once again. As opposition fans sing to Újpest, without a championship since 1998: "Always next, always next year!"

Given Szekesfehervar-based Videoton have landed useful players from Újpest, MTK, AIK Solna and AS Bari, coach György Mezey sounds optimistic: "Debrecen are our biggest rivals. Our goal is to finish top and reach the cup final."

With five champions in as many seasons, Bosnia and Herzegovina promises another tight contest, while, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FK Renova may find holding onto top spot tough, though coach Nedzat Shabani believes they "have the quality and ability to succeed". FK Rabotnicki should provide their sternest opposition despite losing marksman Bobi Bozinovski.

Last updated: 16/08/10 11.53CET

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