MX23RW : Friday, July 30 02:16:06| >> :600:6014515:6014515:
Dec 10, 2020 at 8pm UK at PreZero Arena
HoffenheimHoffenheim
4-1
GentGent
Beier (21', 49'), Skov (26'), Kramaric (64')
John (44'), Amade (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Fortuna (81')
Bezus (72')

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

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

Hoffenheim face Gent on Tuesday night as they look to seal top spot in Group L and complete an unbeaten group stage.

Hoffenheim were able to secure a hard-fought draw away to Red Star Belgrade last time out, while Gent were beaten for the fifth consecutive game in this year's competition, this time at the hands of Slovan Liberec.


Match preview

Hoffenheim manager Sebastian Hoeness pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Hoffenheim have had a great start to this season's Europa League, and Sebastian Hoeness will be pleased with his team's ability to get results both home and away against tricky competition.

Four wins and one draw has seen the German side go three points clear at the top of the group, and even if they lose on Thursday they are already guaranteed top spot due to their superior head-to-head record over Red Star Belgrade.

Hoffenheim and Gent met earlier in the campaign, with Hoffenheim running out 4-1 winners in their first-ever meeting in any competition.

In that same match, Hoffenheim conceded the only goal that has been scored against them in this year's tournament, and after shipping 10 goals in their last Europa League group stage campaign, Hoffenheim look set to become the first German team to concede fewer than two goals in this stage of the competition.

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

From Gent's perspective, it has been a European campaign to forget, having lost all five games to date and shipping 11 goals in that time. Unfortunately for the Belgian side, their poor form goes beyond this year's competition.

Gent have lost their last seven matches in all European competitions, including qualifiers, and this is the worst losing run by a Belgian team in Europe.

Gent's away form does not make for better reading, seeing as they are currently on their worst run of away form since 2010, having lost their last three away fixtures,

It is not all doom and gloom, though. The last time they traveled to face a German team, they emerged victorious after turning over a Wolfsburg side 3-1 in the group stage of last season's Europe League.

With nothing to play for, Wim De Decker will be hoping his side can find a positive result to take back into their domestic season, where they are also winless in their last five matches.

Hoffenheim Europa League form: WWWWD
Hoffenheim form (all competitions): LDWDDW

Gent Europa League form: LLLLL
Gent form (all competitions): DLLLLL


Team News

Hoffenheim head coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

With qualification now sewn up, Hoeness is again likely to rest key players such as Ihlas Bebou and Diadie Samassekou.

While Sargis Adamyan is set to miss out as he recovers from COVID-19, Kostas Stafylidis (shoulder), Ermin Bicakcic (knee) and captain Benjamin Hubner (muscular) will also miss out.

For De Decker, Igor Plastun and Roman Yaremchuk could return to the starting lineup after suffering from COVID-19. Still, they will likely start from the bench as the Belgian side turn their attention to domestic football.

Other than a hamstring injury for Alexandre De Bruyn, De Decker has no fresh injury concerns for Hoffenheim's trip.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Bogarde, Kasim, Nordtveit, Skov; Rudy, Vogt, Geiger, Gacinovic; Beier, De Mello

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


SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 2-0 Gent

Despite both sides resting key players, we see this game going in the same direction as the reverse fixture with a convincing win for Hoffenheim. We expect Hoffenheim to finish the group stage in the same way they started, with a win to keep them top of the group.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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.Home Win:data


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ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

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