Maccabi Haifa v Gent Preview | Can the Buffaloes finally get back on track in Budapest?

Gent travel to Budapest this evening to face Maccabi Haifa in the Europa Conference League Round of 32. In many ways, the Buffaloes should have avoided this round all together, but their final group stage matchweek defeat to fellow Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv means they had to face the extra round.

It could prove very costly indeed, with the side on a terrible run of form since returning from the winter break. They have only picked up one point from a possible 15, with that coming thanks to a last gasp equaliser at home to Westerlo. With strikers Gift Orban and Hugo Cuypers gone, and Malick Fofana also in Lyon, the side look light up front and it is showing. They will have to rely on some magic from the likes of Hyun-Seok Hong and Tarik Tissoudali to have any chance of getting through this tie.

Maccabi Haifa are coming in off the back of a run of two back to back wins, the first being over the aforementioned Maccabi Tel Aviv. The side pipped Greek giants Panathinaikos on the final day of the Europa League Group stages to finish third, some way off the two Group F leaders Rennes and Villarreal. There are a couple of familiar faces to Pro League fans in their squad, with former Antwerp defender Abdoulaye Seck at the back. At the other end of the pitch, veteran creative midfielder Lior Refaelov is still going strong at the age of 37. In the summer he finally left Belgium after over a decade playing for Club Brugge, Antwerp and Anderlecht.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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