Gent hosts Oostende in round 24 of the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. The match will be played on Tuesday, January 25th at Ghelamco Arena (Gent)
Just a few sentences speak in favor of a goal scored by Gent. First, the Buffalos scored in ten out of eleven home games. Secondly, Oostende conceded in nine out of ten away matches. Thirdly, Gent has an average of 2.05 xG per match at home, and now the team is in dire need of points, so it will attack from the opening minutes. And the Buffalos will continue their 8-year streak with goals scored against Oostende in home matches. Then the question arises: why is Gent not in the top four? It’s all about poor conversion and insufficiently reliable defense. We are interested in the second fact. The Buffalos gained only eight clean sheets in 23 matches, and only three home games ended without goals scored (27%). It doesn’t matter for Gent who to concede from: in the Conference League, the team did not hold back Valerenga, Riga, Rakow Czestochowa, and Partizan. As for the Belgian championship, the Buffalos conceded in four out of five matches against the worst five teams in the standings. In other words, Gent is too vulnerable in defense.
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Oostende does not have the worst attack in the league. The team scores an average of more than one goal per match. It is noteworthy that it has been scoring rarely in away matches, but it’s rather bad luck than a trend. The Reds scored eight goals in the first five away games of the season, but there were only two goals in the next five games, and four out of five cases were goalless at all. Isn’t it strange? The team even didn’t change the coach, but the scores of 4-3 and 3-2 turned into 0-1 or so. It should be assumed that Oostende will begin to score more often in the near future. And it has already begun, winning the last away match against Beerschot (0-2). And last Friday the Reds upset Antwerp at home (1-2), showing that they are ready to return to the goal path.
In the first round, Oostende managed to upset Gent (1-0). And last season the Reds scored in the away match (1-2). I must admit that they are showing decent resistance against the top teams in the current draw: they scored five times in six matches against the top five, failing to aggrieve the opponents’ goalkeeper in only one case. Now Oostende is on the verge of the relegation zone and concedes an average of more than two goals per match, which means that the team will not count on defense. The choice is simple: either you score goals or you lose. Gent is in a similar situation. I think the fans will see goals in both nets.