Gent vs Genk Prediction, Preview and Europa League Betting Tips 09.03.2017
Gent welcomes Genk as we have a fully Belgian clash in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League round of 16. First leg is set to take place at the “Ghelamco Arena” in Ghent where Gent and Genk will meet on Thursday night, 9 March 2017. In fact two Belgian clubs are facing each other in an UEFA competition for the first time since the 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
H2H Stats – Gent vs Genk: This is match number three between KAA Gent and KRC Gent in the 2016-17 season and second to be played in East Flanders. So far both clubs have met twice in the Belgian First Division A where they have exchanged home wins as the last of them was in end of December. It was their last fixture in 2016 and game from round 21 has been staged at the “Luminus Arena” in Genk, where hosts won 2-0 with two first-half goals by Alejandro Pozuelo and Nikos Karelis.
This was the answer of Genk after they have suffered a dramatic loss in Ghent earlier this season, when French striker Jérémy Perbet scored the winning goal for Gent in stoppage time.
Of course, Gent and Genk have much greater rivalry and those two games in 2016 are preceded by dozens domestic encounters. It is difficult to compare their domestic league stats with a forthcoming UEFA Europa League tie from such an importance. However, visitors from Genk hold a better head-to-head record in their previous league games which consists of 27 wins for Genk, 10 draws and 19 victories for Gent.
Europa League: KAA Gent vs KRC Genk 09.03.2017
Distance from Ghent to Genk is only 125 km and we can also say that distance between both teams is that short in the league as well. Last Saturday, 4 March 2017, all eight games from round 29 in Belgian First Division A have been played at the same time which means regular season is close to its end. Teams like Gent and Genk have something in common besides their upcoming Europa League duel and that’s a serious danger to remain out of top six in the league, meaning they won’t take part in the Championship playoffs.
Gent currently occupies seventh position as the squad led by Hein Vanhaezebrouck remains on a point behind Mechelen and Sporting Charleroi, respectively fifth and sixth in the First Division A standings. Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s men won their visit to Waasland-Beveren (2-3) but all other contenders did not lost their games as well. This puts Gent under huge pressure and they will have a direct duel against one of teams above on Sunday afternoon, when “The Buffalos” will host to Mechelen.
Meanwhile Genk finds itself in even bigger danger as a club from Belgian Limburg remains on eighth position on two points from Gent.
Genk heads to Ghent after a big win on Saturday when squad led by Albert Stuivenberg won 2-1 over reigning champions Club Brugge at home. That’s first major individual appointment for the Dutchman who previously was in charge of different youth formations of the Netherlands (U17 and U21) before becoming one of Louis van Gaal’s assistants at “Old Trafford”. Furthermore, it will be first huge challenge for Stuivenberg who must pull out the maximum in period of seven days in which Genk looks to breakthrough in the Europa League, as well as to focus upon upcoming weekend visit to Westerlo. Nevertheless, even if Genk beats a struggling Westerlo on Sunday, “The Blauw-Wit” have really illusory chances for a top-six entry.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Gent made really spectacular impression by eliminating Tottenham in front of more than 80 000 spectators at the legendary “Wembley” in London. Around 8000 of them were from Belgium and Gent enjoyed to a really strong support in the most crowded ever UEFA Europa League match.
Two weeks after a draw in London, Gent at home with hopes for another glorious European evening. Starting its Europa League participation from the qualifiers Gent won in home matches against 5-0 vs Viitorul Constanta, 2-1 vs Shkendija (both in the qualifiers), 2-0 vs Konyaspor and icing on the cake during 1-0 success over Spurs in the first leg.
In the meantime Gent lost to Shakhtar Donetsk (3-5) and drew 2-2 vs Braga in the Europa League groups, but after all Belgians reached the second position in Group H.
Hein Vanhaezebrouck has all leading first-team players in the squad and only issue is related with physical condition of some. If the captain Nana Asare, defensive midfielder Renato Neto and attacking midfielder Danijel Milicevic are all injured, good news came from the appearance of another midfielder in Brecht Dejaegere’s face. Dejaegere played more than 15 minutes against Waasland-Beveren and should be ready to feature against Genk.
Players who are still doubts are defensive midfielder Tesfaldet Tekie who is not a first-player anyway, but Moses Simon surely is. Nigerian recovers from an illness and remains doubtful for the Europa League round.
Albert Stuivenberg is on the eve of his first match against Gent and the 46-year-old Dutch coach will be keen to succeed the success left by Rudy Cossey, who was the interim coach when Genk won 2-0 vs Gent in December. Thereafter Stuivenberg took the helm in Genk but unfortunately he won’t be able to use some players who were in Genk’s XI last time.
Nigerian midfielder Onyinye Ndidi made a move to the English Premier League where he signed with champions Leicester City, while winger Leon Bailey joined German Bundesliga and Bayer Leverkusen in particular.
Bailey assisted to Alejandro Pozuelo who opened the score in that match, while another player who contributed will miss out. Greek striker Nikolaos Karelis has scored the second goal from a penalty kick and if that was the moment he would want to remember, then he surely doesn’t want to remember another one. Karelis picked up a bad injury in second half of the match and he will be out until next season due to a cruciate ligament rupture.
Except a long-term injury of Karelis, other names who took part in latest win of Genk against Gent but won’t be available for the Europa League round are of goalkeeper Marco Bizot, while Tino-Sven Susic and Leandro Trossard are questionable.
Moreover, Albert Stuivenberg has some missing players in defense where the two centre-backs Dries Wouters and Sébastien Dewaest are injured and left-back Bojan Nastic is also questionable.
“The Smurfs” will try to score before second leg at home and expectations are that Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta will be on top of Genk’s formation once more, as he netted both goals in net of Club Brugge last weekend. That’s a good sign for the away side and we must underline Genk have scored in any of their last six European visits. Only Europa League match where Genk couldn’t score in regular time was surprisingly against Buducnost, when Belgians were on thin line and really close to be eliminated after second qualifying round. Thankfully Genk eliminated Buducnost in Podgorica after a penalty shootout and now they are one of the remaining sixteen members of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League.
KAA Gent vs KRC Genk Betting Prediction
Gent should do their best to gain advantage at home and we don’t have much doubts about their scoring ability at home.
On other hand Genk are pretty inconsistent on the road but like we already wrote, Genk scored in six consecutive away games and generally in 13 out of 14 in the UEFA Europa League. The only match where they couldn’t score a goal was in Montenegro but they were winners anyhow.
We are ready to place our bet on “Both teams to score – Yes“. We don’t find that option in last three encounters between Gent and Genk, so we have all arguments to look for it in the UEFA Europa League, where motivation is on completely different level. Everything should be decided in a two-legged matchup, not in 30+ domestic league rounds.
Venue: “Ghelamco Arena”, Ghent.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento from Italy.
Possible Lineups of KAA Gent and KRC Genk
KAA Gent: Lovre Kalinic – Samuel Gigot, Stefan Mitrovic, Thomas Foket – Kenny Saief, Anderson Esiti, Rob Schoofs, Samuel Kalu – Brecht Dejaegere, Yuya Kubo – Jeremy Perbet. (3-4-2-1)
KRC Genk: Mathew Ryan – Jere Uronen, Omar Colley, Jakub Brabec, Timothy Castagne – Sander Berge, Alejandro Pozuelo, Ruslan Malinovsky – Jean-Paul Boëtius, Thomas Buffel, Mbwana Samatta. (4-3-3)