KAA Gent and Shamrock will meet on Thursday in the second round of Europa Conference League group-stage fixture, with both sides having played out goalless draw in their opening matches.
The two teams each dropped into the competition after falling short in the Europa League playoff round and will aim to gain an edge with a first win.
After topping the second playoff group in the Belgian Pro League last season, Gent secured entry into Europa League qualifying at the playoff round, with one two-legged encounter standing between them and the group stage of Europe’s secondary tournament.
They would meet Omonia Nicosia, and after suffering a 2-0 defeat on home turf, they would lose by the same scoreline in Cyprus, dropping into the Europa Conference League group stage in disappointing fashion as a result.
Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side kicked off their group campaign with a trip to Norway to face Molde, and they were able to leave with a point as neither side managed to break the deadlock.
De Buffalo were then able to return to winning ways in league action last time out, beating Zulte Waregem 2-0 on home turf and moving up to fifth place with 14 points from their eight matches.
Meanwhile, Shamrock will make the trip to Belgium hoping to cause somewhat of an upset after picking up a commendable point in the first round of fixture.
Stephen Bradley’s side started life in the group stage with a home game against Djugardens IF and managed to put a point on the board as the match ended goalless.
The Hoops now head into Thursday’s contest with momentum fro a 5-1 victory over Finn Harps to remain at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division, and will aim to gain an edge with an impressive away win on the continent.
KAA Gent vs Shamrock Rovers head to head
These two teams have not previously met on any occasion and this will be their first meeting in the Europa Conference League group stages.
KAA Gent latest home form
KAA Gent have recently failed to keep a good run of form at home, having won just two of their six most recent matches. They defeated Zulte Waregem 2-0 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored six goals and also conceded six.
Gent 1-1 Sint-Truiden 30/07/22
Gent 2-1 Westerlo 07/08/22
Gent 0-2 Omonia Nicosia 18/08/22
Gent 1-2 Antwerp 28/08/22
Gent 2-0 Zulte Waregem 11/09/22
KAA Gent latest away form
KAA Gent have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just two of their eight most recent matches. They drew 0-0 with Molde in their last away game in the Europa Conference League. In their last five matches, they have scored five goals and conceded five.
KV Oostende 1-3 Gent 12/08/22
Omonia Nicosia 2-0 Gent 25/08/22
Anderlecht 0-1 Gent 01/09/22
Sporting Charleroi 2-1 Gent 04/09/22
Molde 0-0 Gent 08/09/22
Shamrock Rovers latest home form
Shamrock Rovers have recently been on a good run of form at home, and have been unbeaten in their five most recent matches. They managed to defeat Finn Harps 5-1 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 12 goals and conceded two.
Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Shkupi 04/08/22
Shamrock Rovers 3-0 Dundalk 21/08/22
Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Ferencvaros 25/08/22
Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Djurgarden 08/09/22
Shamrock Rovers 5-1 Finn Harps 11/09/22
Shamrock Rovers latest away form
Shamrock Rovers have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just two of their five most recent matches. They lost 1-0 to Bohemians in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored four goals and conceded seven.
Shkupi 1-2 Shamrock Rovers 09/08/22
Derry City 0-0 Shamrock Rovers 12/08/22
Ferencvaros 4-0 Shamrock Rovers 18/08/22
Drogheda United 1-2(E) Shamrock Rovers 28/08/22
Bohemians 1-0 Shamrock Rovers 02/09/22
KAA Gent news
Gent defender Joseph Okumu will return to contention after serving a suspension in their league win over Zulte Waregem, and could come straight back into the starting lineup.
Hugo Cuypers should again lead the line for the hosts, while Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Jens Petter Hauge should also return to the front line.
Shamrock Rovers news
Rory Gaffney should lead the line for Shamrock Rovers, having contributed eight goals and eight assists in league action this season and three assists in continental qualifying.
Midfielder Richie Towell is set to continue a spell on the sidelines, but Chris McCann, Gary O’Neill and Dylan Watts will start in midfield.
Prediction and Odds
Shamrock Rovers did well to earn a point in their opening game aganst Djurgadens and will feel confident of again picking up a positive result in Belgium.
However, we see a trip to one of Belgium’s top sides as a step too far and we back the hosts to come away with all three points.
Odds: 1 1.89 X 2.00 2 2.24
Gent 2-0 Shamrock Rovers
Gent 2-1 Shamrock Rovers
Gent 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
Gent 3-1 Shamrock Rovers
Gent 4-1 Shamrock Rovers
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