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Belgian Pro League | Gameweek 1
Jul 30, 2023 at 3pm UK

3 - 2

Radovanovic (8' og.), Cuypers (30'), Orban (71')
Castro-Montes (24')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Kadri (5'), Avenatti (86')
Montegnies (30'), Avenatti (40'), Mehssatou (56'), Silva (90+5')

Preview: Gent vs. Kortrijk - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Belgian Pro League clash between Gent and Kortrijk, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In an action-packed weekend of Belgian First Division A football, Gent will get their domestic league campaign underway when they play host to Kortrijk at Ghelamco Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts come into this match after taking a commanding 5-1 lead in their second round first leg Europa Conference League qualifier against MSK Zilina in midweek, while the visitors managed a 2-1 win over Volendam in a pre-season friendly last weekend.

Match preview

Gent's Hugo Cuypers celebrates scoring their first goal with Gift Orban on April 20, 2023© Reuters

For a second consecutive season, Gent finished the Belgian First Division A season in fifth place last term with 56 points in the regular season, three points behind Club Brugge in the fourth and final Championship round qualification spot.

However, they were too good for Cercle Brugge, Standard Liege and Westerlo in the Conference League playoff group, winning five of their six matches while drawing just one, claiming the top spot by an eight-point margin.

The hosts are now all but assured of a spot in the third qualifying round of the Conference League after dominating the first leg against MSK Zilina and securing a four-goal advantage last week.

Last season, Gent recorded 21 wins, nine draws and 10 losses in their 40 matches, including the playoffs, while also maintaining the league's fifth-best home record with 39 points taken from a possible 60.

Hein Vanhaezebrouck's side have got the better of this opponent in recent times, unbeaten in their last three encounters, which included back-to-back wins last season, and the Gent boss will be firmly expecting his side to get off to a winning start in this one.

Meanwhile, Kortrijk took a step in the wrong direction last season, going from 13th in 2021-22 to 14th last term while also falling six points short of the tally they managed the previous season.

Across the entire campaign, the visitors recorded just eight wins in 34 matches, along with seven draws and 19 losses, which included a run of four winless matches in their last four games of the season.

Kortrijk struggled noticeably in away games last term, managing just 14 of a possible 54 points on the road, with a record of four wins, two draws, and 11 losses, shipping 32 goals in that time while only scoring 21 in response.

They did manage two big wins in their four preseason matches, but those came against much weaker opponents, and while it would have helped them build some confidence, they will likely find it much more difficult against a top-half opponent in this one.

Team News

Gent's Gift Orban celebrates after the match on March 15, 2023© Reuters

Vanhaezebrouck will have to make do without the services of the experienced Laurent Depoitre, who will be out for at least a few more weeks with an Achilles tendon rupture.

Hugo Cuypers bagged a brace against Zilina in the Conference League qualifiers and should lead the line for the hosts here alongside the Nigerian Gift Orban, who opened the scoring in the fixture.

For the visitors, Faiz Selemani's departure to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Hazem should mean that the attacking responsibilities will be carried by Felipe Avenatti, who was the side's second-highest goalscorer last term with seven.

Kristof D'Haene recorded four assists last season, second to Selemani, and he will continue on the left flank with Aleksandar Radovanovic and Jonah Osabutey shielding the defence in central midfield.

Gent possible starting lineup:
Roef; Watanabe, Torunarigha, Fortuna; Samoise, Kums, De Sart, Fofana; Hong, Orban, Cuypers

Kortrijk possible starting lineup:
Vandenberghe; Neve, Silva, Wasinski; Regali, Osabutey, Radovanovic, D'Haene; Kadri, Avenatti, Mbayo

SM words green background

We say: Gent 2-0 Kortrijk

Gent won both matches against this opponent fairly comfortably last season and looked very good in their 5-1 Europa Conference League qualifier win last week. We do not see them sticking away another five goals in this one, but we do think that they will find the net more than once.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Gent's Gift Orban celebrates after the match on March 15, 2023
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