It is hard to feel very confident about picking West Ham United, to win any match, against anybody these days. Their form has certainly been bipolar, as it’s either disaster class or a win that is narrowly eked out. Nevertheless, they are favored, strongly, against Gent in the Conference League quarterfinal; leg one of two, clash on Thursday night.
A Gent win is typically backed at 12/5, with a draw coming in at the same price. Meanwhile West Ham are overwhelming favorites, to the tune of 11/10.
West Ham United at Gent FYIs
Kickoff: Thurs Apr 13, 5:45pm local, Ghelamco Arena, Gent, Belgium
Competition: Conference League Quarterfinal Leg 1/2
Hammers Team News: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Series History: Gent wins: 0, Draws: 1, West Ham wins: 1
Fun Fact: these two sides haven’t met since 1964
Manager David Moyes could make some changes here from last weekend, especially so if he goes with four in the middle of the park. The midfielder duo of Thomas Soucek and Declan Rice are the strength of this team, so they should retain their places.
No. 2 goalkeeper Alphonse Areola should get the call here over the No. 1 Lukasz Fabianski. Meanwhile Said Benrahma will be looking to get into the first team while both Michail Antonio and Danny Ings will get a starting assignment in the final third.
West Ham United Starting XI Prediction at Gent (Conference League)
Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Palmieri; Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Fornals; Ings, Antonio
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.