Gent’s form may give West Ham the edge

By Simon Leyland

The Hammers surely gained a massive confidence boost at the weekend as we were able to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat against League leaders and London rivals Arsenal .

On another day they could have even gone on to win that clash such were the chances we were able to create.

But now, our focus will be on securing passage to the semi-final of the European Conference League tonight by earning a home win against Gent.

The visitors were involved in their third successive draw across all competitions at the weekend as they drew 1-1 away to Mechelen and it means they’re now unbeaten in four successive road trips.

However, prior to that they were in a bit of a rut having lost five of the previous seven games on their travels and a trip to the London Stadium will be a huge test of their credentials.

Goals look likely in this encounter, particularly for the Hammers given that Gent have struggled to keep clean sheets, have conceded in each of their last three and with both teams scoring in six of their prior eight.

Perhaps both sides can create some high quality goal-scoring opportunities.

Each side has players capable of producing a moment of quality and firing their team in front. It’s what makes this game particularly exciting and West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen is one of those.

He notched the crucial equalising goal against Arsenal at the weekend and was a key individual in last week’s meetings with the Belgians, assisting once and also contributing defensively.

The visitors have been prolific in front of goal this term, particularly in the Belgian top flight where they have managed to score in 13 of their 17 away games.

They will have to keep their concentration when they travel to London but make no mistake, they’ll fancy their chances of getting in on the scoring act against a West Ham outfit that has conceded in 11 of their 16 home league games and in 15 of their 22 home matches in all competitions.

However, I am taking us to prevail !