Ivan Leko in the run-up to Antwerp-Beerschot: “It will be fifty-fifty”...

The city derby is rapidly approaching, but at Antwerp they have not been able to think too much about that burial duel. They have just returned from Bulgaria and the circumstances are not ideal. “But there will be no excuses on Sunday and we will have to go full throttle.”

The fact that the circumstances are not ideal makes the setting of this press moment abundantly clear. The players have only just got off the plane from Bulgaria and a little further they are being tested for the corona virus.

“The results will largely determine who will play on Sunday,” explains Ivan Leko. “So I don’t know who will play yet. We still have a good day and a half to prepare for that match. So we didn’t have much time to enjoy ourselves.”

50 – 50

While Antwerp was in Bulgaria, it was decided to finish all matches without an audience. “That is certainly a handicap for us. Everyone knows what the home crowd means to us, they are our twelfth man. Unfortunately, this is not the way a real derby should be. That unique atmosphere is created by the fans.”

Not a twelfth man for the Great Old and a short preparation. “It is a pity that we do not have a full week to prepare (like Beerschot, ed.). That is our second handicap. With fans and that week, important details for a derby, I would say that we are favorites. But now it will be fifty-fifty. They have one point more, could possibly bring their strongest team … “, Leko explained.

Match of the year?

But Royal Antwerp FC will do everything it can to call itself ‘the team of the city’ in the coming months. “I feel the importance of this match with the people around me. It’s the match of the year. I already consider every match as a Champions League final. Nobody wants to win that derby harder than my players and I and I give you one. leaf that you will notice that on Sunday. “

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