Gent will host West Ham United in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-finals on Thursday.

West Ham have had a difficult season domestically, and they will be hoping to continue their impressive run of form in the European competitions with a victory in the first leg away from home against Gent.

David Moyes will be aware of the fact that the only way West Ham can play European football next season is by winning the Conference League this year.

West Ham certainly look like a team capable of going all the way in the tournament, and it remains to be seen whether they can grind out a positive result in the first leg tomorrow.

Gent are coming into this game on the back of a win over Istanbul Basaksehir in the last round. On the other hand, West Ham picked up a comfortable victory against AEK Larnaca.

Team News and Tactics


The home side do not have any major injury issues heading into this game. They will be able to field a full-strength side here. Davy Roef is likely to start in goal ahead of Paul Nardi, who has barely played in the cup fixtures this season.

Gent are likely to start in a 3-5-2 formation with Alessio Castro-Montes lining up alongside Joseph Okumu and Jordan Torunarigha at the back. Matisse Samoise and Malick Fofana are likely to be the wing-backs here and they will look to add creativity to the side along with the defensive responsibilities.

In the middle of the park, Sven Kums will start along with Hong Hyun-seok and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe. Gent will look to outnumber West Ham in the middle of the park and seize control of the proceedings. Gift Orban is likely to lead the line alongside Hugo Cuypers.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Roef; Castro-Montes, Okumu, Torunarigha; Samoise, Kums, Hong, Vadis, Fofana; Orban, Cuypers

West Ham United

The Hammers will be without the services of Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta. While Paqueta picked up a foot injury, Scamacca is struggling with a knee problem. David Moyes switched to a 4-4-2 against Fulham, and he is likely to continue in that system here. The Hammers picked up a 1-0 win in that game.

Alphonse Areola is set to start in goal behind a back four of Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Emerson Palmieri. Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma will be the wingers here with Declan Rice starting alongside Tomas Soucek in the middle of the park.

The two players will look to keep the midfield compact and provide defensive cover to the back line.  Meanwhile, the wingers will look to add creativity and goals to the side from the wide areas. January signing Danny Ings will lead the line along with Michail Antonio.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Palmieri; Bowen, Rice, Soucek, Benrahma; Ings, Antonio

Key Stats

  • West Ham are the only team with a 100% record in the Conference League this team, winning all eight games.
  • This will be the third meeting between Gent and West Ham, with the Hammers going unbeaten in the previous two clashes.
  • Gent are unbeaten in seven outings across competitions.
  • Gent are unbeaten in six home games.
  • West Ham have scored 19 goals in the last eight Conference League games.

Player to Watch

Jarrod Bowen

Bowen was outstanding against Larnaca in the last round, and he will look to continue his impressive run of form in the European competitions.

The 26-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best players at the club, and he could cause all sorts of problems for the Gent defence with his pace, flair and movement into the box.


Gent 1-2 West Ham United

The home side are likely to put up a fight here, and this will not be an easy outing for West Ham. The Premier League side have a better team on paper. But Gent are likely to give them a run for their money.

Having said that, the away side have too much attacking quality at their disposal, and they should be able to edge the result in the end. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 victory for West Ham away from home.

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