BETTING TIP – GENT & OVER 2.5 GOALS
CORRECT SCORE PREDICTION – 3-1 GENT
- Gent have won seven of their last nine competitive home games (Drawn 1, Lost 1).
- 45 goals have been scored in Valerenga’s 14 league games this season (avg 3.21)
- Gent have lost their last eight European matches (2 x UCL QF, 6 x UEL Group stage).
Gent to get off to flier against wide-open Valerenga
Gent host Valerenga in the Europa Conference League second qualifying round first leg on Thursday and should have little to fear from their Norwegian visitors.
The Buffalos are gradually getting up to speed after a series of warm-up matches with a recent 1-0 win over French champions Lille showing them to be in good order.
Last season was a rollercoaster affair, but the club have addressed a clear lack of leadership on the field with their transfer activity – particularly the signings of ex-Kortijk holding midfielder Julien De Sart and talented Kenyan centre-back Joseph Okumu.
Contrastingly, Valerenga have just lost a key player in right-winger Aron Dønnum who, although his switch to Standard Liege is yet to be confirmed, has reportedly already played his last game for the Oslo club.
He is having a brilliant campaign with five goals and three assists in nine matches, so will be tough to replace at short notice.
Valerenga’s form has stuttered a little of late with two draws and a defeat following back-to-back wins.
And their defending in last weekend’s 3-1 domestic away loss was described as schoolboy by their own goalkeeper who saw the ball go past him four times in ten minutes (one was disallowed).
They remain a good bet for a high-scoring game though with an average of 3.21 goals registered in their league contests this season.
We’re minded to ignore Gent’s awful record in Uefa competition last season (eight straight defeats) and back the hosts to win with at least three goals in the game because they appear to be on the road to a better campaign.
So much so, we are taking them to win with a bit to spare by a score of 3-1.