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Belgian Pro League | Gameweek 40
May 21, 2022 at 7.45pm UK

1 - 2

FT(HT: 1-1)
Gholizadeh (16'), Heymans (90+2')
Ozornwafor (44'), Gholizadeh (58')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Belgian Pro League clash between Gent and Charleroi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On the final day of the Belgian top-flight campaign, Gent and Charleroi will do battle at the Ghelamco Arena on Saturday.

The hosts have already confirmed a first-placed finish in the second playoff group of the Belgium First Division A, while their visitors will be hoping for a result to stay ahead of Mechelen and achieve a third-placed group finish and seventh place on the whole.

Match preview

Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck reacts on March 17, 2022© Reuters

After a mixed campaign in the Belgian top flight, Gent enjoyed an eye-catching end to the regular season, winning eight of their last nine matches between February and April.

That saw them steam into contention for a place in the Championship group for the playoffs, but the head start Royal Antwerp had thanks to Gent's struggles meant that Hein Vanhaezebrouck's side were pipped to fourth spot by one point.

Coming into the second playoff group as leaders as a result, after triumphing in the Belgian Cup final on a penalty shootout against Anderlecht, De Buffalo's had a tough start, losing 1-0 to rivals Genk, but they were quickly able to bounce back against Saturday's opponents.

Vanhaezebrouck's side came from behind to beat Charleroi 3-1 away from home, and they have gone on to make it four wins in a row in the group, most recently avenging their loss to Genk by posting a 2-0 win away from home thanks to goals from Tarik Tissoudali and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe.

That result sealed a fifth-placed finish in the Belgian Pro League overall, and, with European qualification already secured thanks to their cup glory, De Buffalo's will aim to finish the season on a high with what would be five straight wins in an impressive second half since the turn of the year.

Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck on November 25, 2021© Reuters

Charleroi, meanwhile, arrive aiming to build on their victory last time out and post another result to cement a third-placed finish in the playoff group.

After ending the regular season in sixth spot with 54 points from 34 outings, Saturday's visitors have endured a tough playoff campaign, beginning with consecutive defeats to Mechelen and Gent.

Les Zebres then forced a commendable 2-2 draw against Genk, thanks to Vakoun Issouf Bayo's 93rd-minute equaliser, before narrowly losing 3-2 in the reverse fixture.

Edward Still's side were finally able to make a return to winning ways last time out, posting an important 3-2 victory over Mechelen to leapfrog De Kakkers, as Bayo hit another two goals.

With that result leaving them third in the group, with a two-point lead over Mechelen, Still's side will look to finish with what would be an impressive win to confirm their current spot.

Gent Belgian Pro League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Gent form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Charleroi Belgian Pro League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Gent's Laurent Depoitre celebrates scoring their first goal on March 17, 2022© Reuters

Gent are set to remain without Andrew Hjulsager and key forward Laurent Depoitre, who has netted 10 league goals this season, due to injuries which have ruled them out of the entirety of the playoff campaign.

However, midfielder Roman Bezus will return to contention after serving a suspension last time out.

Vanhaezebrouck may look to field an unchanged side from the victory over Genk, with Tarik Tissoudali again set to lead the line after scoring his 21st league goal of the season last time out.

Charleroi will be without their own star forward, as Vakoun Issouf Bayo, who has netted two braces in the last three games, is on loan from Gent and therefore unable to feature against his parent club on Saturday.

That absence, combined with the January loss of top scorer Shamar Nicholson, could put more attacking responsibility on Ryota Morioka, who netted four goals and provided 10 assists in 30 appearances in the regular top-flight season.

Ali Gholizadeh will also play a key role, having netted seven league goals and provided five assists this campaign.

Gent possible starting lineup:
Roef; Godeau, Hanche-Olsen, Torunarigha; Samoise, Kums, Owusu, Castro-Montes; Odjidja-Ofoe; Tissoudali, Lemajic

Charleroi possible starting lineup:
Koffi; Knezevic, Ozornwafor, Wasinski; Nkuba, Ilaimaharitra, Heymans, Kayembe; Mbenza, Gholizadeh, Morioka

SM words green background

We say: Gent 2-0 Charleroi

Given their recent form and the quality in their squad, we can only envisage a relatively comfortable home victory on Saturday.

The visitors will miss the attacking threat of Bayo, and Gent have enough to outclass their visitors on home turf.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

Top 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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