DRC duo to pile more misery on Kompany's Anderlecht?

Paul-Jose Mpoku and Merveille Bokadi, both of the DRC, have become integral to Standard Liege's side. Philippe Crochet / Photonews via Getty Images

The return of Vincent Kompany to Belgium was supposed to be the fairy-tale story of the new Pro League season, but his Anderlecht side has struggled, and they face a challenge from Standard Liege's two DR Congo internationals this weekend.

The Royals announced, with much fanfare, the arrival of Kompany as player-coach at the end of last season, but so far the club legend's return to his boyhood team has been something of a nightmare.

They have yet to win in five matches and Kompany himself is sidelined for several weeks after picking up an injury in their 1-0 loss at Genk last weekend.

The Bokadi-M'Poku axis

Standard Liege have hit on a winning formula in the last couple of weekends, and handing starting berths to DRC players Merveille Bokadi and Paul Jose M'Poku has proven to be a key element of the changes coach Michel Preudhomme has made to the team.

Bokadi, who is ostensibly a midfielder, has been moved into central defence to partner Cypriot Konstantinos Laifis and the pair have formed a solid screen to protect goalkeeper Arnaud Bodart.

Bokadi only extended his contract with Liege earlier in the month, finally putting to bed speculation over his future, but he is now a settled first-team pick in the heart of defence and a player around whom 'Les Rouges' will build their season.

M'Poku, meanwhile, is the more attacking of the Leopards internationals and appears to be finding something like his best form early in the new season.

His only goal came in a loss away to Sint Truiden in round three, but his pace and ability to link with centre-forward Renaud Edmond and fellow creatives Selim Amallah and Maxime Lestienne has been the fulcrum of their attacking play.

With the former Manchester City man set to be a spectator rather than active participant, clamping down on the threat offered by M'Poku and his fellow attackers will be just one half of the challenge.

Finding a way past the Bokadi-led defence is the other, and given that Anderlecht have managed a paltry three goals in 450 minutes of Pro League football this term, there is some serious pulling up of socks which will have to take place on Sunday evening.

Other African stars on show

Elsewhere in the Pro League this weekend, South Africa's Percy Tau and Nigerian David Okereke will look to continue their excellent start to the season when Club Brugge host Genk (featuring co-leading scorer Mbwana Samatta of Tanzania) on Sunday afternoon, while Ivorian William Togui will lead Mechelen's charge at home to Excel Mouscron in the round opener on Friday night.

DRC's Dieumerci Mbokani - who is tied with Samatta on five goals - will feature for Antwerp in their trip to Saido Berahino's Zulte Waregem.

Algerian Idriss Saadi sees his Cercle Brugge team head to Gent, Ghanaian Eric Ocansey will look to add to his one goal when Kortrijk host Fashio Sakala's Oostende, and Rwandan Djihad Bizimana will look for another energetic performance in midfield for Waasland Beveren's match at home to Sporting Charleroi.