Two teams that will be a part of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the first time will clash for a spot in the quarterfinals, when KAA Gent host Wolfsburg this Wednesday, February 17 at 20:45 at the Ghelamco Arena.
Of course neither of these two squads is a title contender, but that makes this matchup a little more interesting and exciting. For this particular stage, the German Wolfsburg are the favorites to advance, listed at 1.36 in the UCL Odds while the Belgium team is at 3.0 to pull the upset.
Gent got to this point by getting the second place in Group H, only behind Zenit Petersburgh. The Belgian earned 10 of the 18 group stage points, with three wins and one loss, scoring eight goals and allowing seven. For them to get to this stage was a huge surprise, considering they were the underdogs in a zone where Valencia and Lyon had better odds.
“I wasn’t surprised because I saw one of their home matches and the fans made their presence felt. They’re a team that won’t lie down, a team that always look for goals. They took out some big teams along the way, like Valencia and Lyon. We have to be ready because they will come out fighting to make history in the Champions League”, said Wolfsburg player, Naldo.
This will be only the third series Gent faces a German opposition. They beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup second round, drawing 0-0 at home and winning 1-0 on the road. In 2001 during the Intertoto Cup third round, they lost 0-1 at home against SV Werder Bremen but were able to fix the path by winning 3-2 away.
Wolfsburg won Group B with 12 points, after upsetting teams like PSV, Manchester United and CSKA Moscow. They won four of their six matches, scoring nine goals and allowing six. However, perhaps neither of the victories was as important as taking down United in the last fixtures with a 3-2 result.
“It was a great night for me, with two special goals, and the most important thing was to help the team reach the round of 16. It was an explosion of emotion; that night is unforgettable for me. Winning 3-2 against a side like Manchester United, and coming from behind, isn’t something just any team can do. For the whole 90 minutes, our team had their heads on right, and we scored the goals at the right moments”, Naldo added to the UEFA media.
This is the first time Wolfsburg meets a Belgium opponent in any European competition. Their recent form in the Bundesliga has been shaky at best; they are currently in the 8th spot in the tournament, but just two points away from the sixth place, which gives a ticket to next year’s Europa League.
As part of the Champions League Betting Tips KAA Gent v Wolfsburg, considering these two squads have never met each other. Yet, the Germans are slide favorites to win on the road, paying 2.7 while Gent is at 2.8 to win at home and the draw is at 3.4.
Both sides have a lot in common, and this first match will be strategically played as they look to fight another day. Bet the draw.