MX23RW : Friday, December 4 02:44:36| >> :600:210889:210889:
Oct 29, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at GHELAMCO-arena
FT(HT: 0-1)
Belfodil (36' pen.), Grillitsch (52'), Gacinovic (73'), Dabour (90+4')
Rudy (51'), Vogt (72')

Preview: Gent vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League match between Gent and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Belgian side Gent take on Hoffenheim in Group L of the 2020-21 Europa League with the visitors looking to secure successive wins after an impressive 2-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade last week.

Gent, however, must bounce back after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Czech Republic outfit Slovan Liberec.

Match preview

Gent's Jonathan David celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2020© Reuters

After a 2-1 home defeat to Genk in the Belgian Pro League on Monday night, Gent have now lost three consecutive matches in all competitions.

In truth, last season's Belgian runners-up have had a disastrous start to their campaign, recording less than one point per game to lie in a lowly 13th position after 10 domestic matches.

Having lost their manager Jess Thorup to Genk in August, his replacement Laszlo Boloni lasted only three matches in charge before being sacked. Former assistant Wim De Decker has now taken the reigns in only his second spell as a manager, having briefly taken charge of Antwerp in 2017, but is yet to get his side firing.

Losing their star player Jonathan David to Lille in the summer transfer window was arguably an even bigger blow than Thorup's departure, but it is not as if the club simply banked the £24m they received for the 20-year-old. Eight players were brought in for around £15m in total, which perhaps has not helped with team harmony. A win against Hoffenheim would represent a major scalp, then, and could kick-start their campaign.

Hoffenheim manager Sebastian Hoeness celebrates with his players after their victory over Bayern Munich on September 27, 2020© Reuters

Hoffenheim have had a more stable start to the 2020-21 campaign than their forthcoming opponents, taking seven points from their opening five Bundesliga games to sit in a mid-table position.

However, since stunning the world by beating Bayern Munich 4-1 prior to the international break, last week's 2-0 win over Red Star now represents their only win in four matches, with Andrej Kramaric's positive coronavirus test clearly a huge blow to them.

However, the Croatian striker, who has been overtaken by Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga top goalscorer charts during his quarantine period, is now available for action again once more.

Sebastian Hoeness may choose to save his star man for league action, though, especially with Munas Dabbur scoring in last week's win over Red Star in this competition.

Gent Europa League form: L
Gent form (all competitions): LLWLLL

Hoffenheim Europa League form: W
Hoffenheim form (all competitions): WWLLWD

Team News

Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on December 20, 2019© Reuters

De Decker will be without attacker Alexandre De Bruyn due to a hamstring injury, but has no other known fitness issues to contend with.

Former Porto and Huddersfield Town striker Laurent Depoitre missed the defeat to Slovan Liberec, but is likely to return to the starting XI with Gent needing a result.

As mentioned, Kramaric is available for selection once again for Hoffenheim having served his quarantine period, but may be spared for the weekend's league match against Union Berlin.

Benjamin Hubner, Kostas Stafylidis and Ermin Bicakcic are all injured for the foreseeable future, with Pavel Kaderabek also unavailable for Hoeness to select due to the Czech Republic international quarantining.

Gent possible starting lineup:
Roef; Castro-Montes, Ngadeu-Ngadjul, Hanche-Olsen, Fortuna; Bukari, Marreh, Kums, Botaka; Depoitre, Yaremchuk

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Posch, Vogt, Akpoguma, Sessegnon; Grillitsch, Rudy, Gacinovic; Baumgartner; Belfodil, Dabbur

SM words green background

We say: Gent 1-2 Hoffenheim

With Hoffenheim potentially rewarding last week's XI which got the job done against Red Star with another start - and thereby resting Kramaric - Gent may have a chance of a morale boosting victory, but we still expect the visitors to have a little too much for the out-of-sorts Belgian side.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data


Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between Gent and Hoffenheim?

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Saint Etienne's Wesley Fofana in action with Gent's Jonathan David in the Europa League on November 28, 2019
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