MX23RW : Sunday, January 17 05:23:50| >> :600:3412830:3412830:
Dec 3, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at GHELAMCO-arena
Slovan LiberecSlovan Liberec
Yaremchuk (60')
Mohammadi (52'), Kums (75'), Hanche-Olsen (85'), Bukari (90+3'), Yaremchuk (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mara (32'), Kacharaba (55')
Mara (79'), Matousek (85'), Sadilek (90+2'), Rabusic (90+7')

Preview: Gent vs. Slovan Liberec - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Gent and Slovan Liberec, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Gent host Slovan Liberec in the Europa League on Thursday, with the visitors needing to win to keep their slim hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

The hosts, meanwhile, were eliminated from the competition in the 2-0 home defeat to Red Star Belgrade last week.

Match preview

Gent players in a huddle before their Europa League meeting with Red Star Belgrade on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Indeed, it has been a pitiful season for the Belgian runners-up so far, with Wim De Decker's side lying in 11th place in the Belgian table and gaining no points from four matches in the Europa League.

Losing former manager Jess Thorup to rivals Genk in August was certainly not a helpful start to the campaign, with the Danish coach since departing for Copenhagen in a turbulent few months for the 50-year-old, with his replacement Laszlo Boloni lasting just 25 days in the job.

As such, De Decker was tasked with steadying the ship, but has overseen a Champions League playoff defeat as well as four defeats from four matches in the Europa League.

Consequently, all Gent have left to play for against Slovan Liberec is an attempt not to finish bottom of Group L. A win by a two goal margin or greater would take them above the Czech outfit in the table with one match remaining.

Comparatively, less was expected of Slovan Liberec, who finished fifth in the Czech Republic division last season, with Pavel Hotfych's side's 1-0 win over Gent in the opening game the only points they have picked up so far in Group L.

The Czech side have simply been outclassed by Hoffenheim and Red Star, conceding 12 goals in three matches with only one in response, including in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to the Germans.

Indeed, the 5-1 defeat in Belgrade was particularly damaging as, despite the fact that Hotfych's side can still mathematically catch the Serbian outfit, they would need to beat Gent while hoping Hoffenheim defeat Red Star on Thursday, before defeating Red Star by at least four goals on the final matchday in order to finish ahead of them due to the head-to-head ruling in European competition.

As such, it is likely they have their sights on finishing a respectable third in the group, with avoiding defeat to Gent on Thursday enough to ensure that regardless of how they fare against Red Star in their last game.

Gent Europa League form: LLLL
Gent form (all competitions): WLDWLL

Slovan Liberec Europa League form: WLLL
Slovan Liberec form (all competitions): WLLWLL

Team News

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk pictured on November 14, 2020© Reuters

De Decker is without Alexandre De Bruyn (hamstring), Igor Plastun (coronavirus) and Roman Yaremchuk (coronavirus).

The Belgians are likely to take the game to Slovan Liberec with an attacking 3-5-2 formation as they look to gain the win they need to finish ahead of them in the group.

Hotfych, meanwhile, appears to be in the enviable position of having no injuries or suspensions to contend with.

His side have averaged only 28% possession during the Europa League this season, so are likely to sit behind the ball and look to hurt Gent in transition.

Gent possible starting lineup:
Bolat; Hanche-Olsen, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Fortuna; Botaka, Dorsch, Owusu, Kums, Mohammadi; Bukari, Bezus

Slovan Liberec possible starting lineup:
Nguyen; Kosclenik, Kacharaba, Jugas, Chalus, Mikula; Pesek, Sadilek, Mara, Mosquera; Yusuf

SM words green background

We say: Gent 1-0 Slovan Liberec

Despite missing star man Yaremchuk, we can see Gent gaining a narrow victory to eliminate Slovan Liberec from the competition.

Gent should dominate possession, so providing they use it better than they have in recent weeks, the Belgians should have enough about them to gain their first points of the European campaign.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data


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A general shot of the Europa League trophy on June 24, 2013
Read Next:
Europa League roundup: Eleven more progress through
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