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Sep 30, 2021 at 8pm UK
Dinamo ZagrebDinamo Zagreb

Heynen (14'), Thorstvedt (30')
Munoz (65')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Ivanusec (10'), Petkovic (45+3' pen., 67' pen.)

Preview: Genk vs. Dinamo Zagreb - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Genk vs. Dinamo Zagreb - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Genk and Dinamo Zagreb, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After contrasting starts to the group stage, Genk and Dinamo Zagreb will square off in the second round of Europa League fixtures on Thursday.

The hosts snatched a late victory over Rapid Vienna in their first game, while the Croatian side were defeated on home turf by West Ham United, and will look to quickly bounce back.

Match preview

After finishing second in the Belgian top flight last season, Genk earned a place in the qualifying rounds for the upcoming Champions League, and were handed a tough draw against Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

A pair of 2-1 defeats saw John van den Brom's side drop out, but they were granted automatic access into the Europa League group stage and kicked off their campaign with a victory.

Their trip to Austrian side Rapid Vienna looked set to end goalless, only for Paul Onuachu to pop up with a 92nd-minute winner and snatch all three points for the Blauw-Wit.

Following that victory, Van den Brom's side posted a league win over Sint-Truiden, before suffering a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Royal Antwerp, but they managed to bounce back again last time out.

An Onuachu hat-trick sealed an impressive 3-0 win over RFC Seraing, and they will now look to build on that and put another important victory on the board in the group stage.

They meet a Dinamo Zagreb side who will aim to get their points tally off the mark, after a defeat to West Ham United.

The visitors also entered the Champions League qualification rounds after winning the Croatian top flight, and they cruised past Valur and Omonia Nicosia, before grinding out a hard-fought 2-1 aggregate win over Polish side Legia Warsaw.

Despite navigating through three rounds successfully, Damir Krznar's side fell at the final hurdle, as Moldovan underdogs Sheriff Tiraspol completed their unlikely road to the Champions League group stage by defeating the Zagreb outfit 3-0, condemning the Modri to a spot in the Europa League.

They had a difficult start, as last season's sixth-placed Premier League side arrived in fine form, and returned to London with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice.

With only five games left, Dinamo Zagreb will know that they must quickly put points on the board if they are to reach the knockout stage after an impressive Europa League showing last season, as they overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Tottenham Hotspur, before being knocked out by eventual winners Villarreal in the quarter-finals.

Genk Europa League form:
  • W

Genk form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Dinamo Zagreb Europa League form:
  • L

Dinamo Zagreb form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Genk should come in with a clean bill of health, allowing Van den Brom to deploy a similar side to the one that defeated Rapid Vienna in the first group game.

Paul Onuachu will continue to lead the line after hitting the winner in that curtain-raiser, while also netting six goals in the three league games since that encounter, including a hat-trick last time out.

Junya Ito will occupy a wing spot, while Joseph Paintsil and Theo Bongonda will likely battle to feature on the other flank and complete the front three.

Dinamo Zagreb could remain without forward Mario Gavranovic and defender Dino Peric, as the pair are yet to return from injury troubles.

However, first-choice goalkeeper Dominic Livakovic recently returned from an injury to take back his place between the sticks.

The line will be led by Croatia international Bruno Petkovic, who has registered 25 goals and 24 assists in the last three league seasons.

Genk possible starting lineup:
Vandevoordt; Munoz, Cuesta, Lucumi, Arteaga; Thorstvedt, Eiting, Heynen; Ito, Onuachu, Paintsil

Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Lauritsen, Theopile-Catherine, Franjic; Ristovski, Misic, Franjic, Orsic; Ademi, Petkovic, Ivanusec

We say: Genk 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb

While Dinamo Zagreb will be keen to quickly bounce back from their opening defeat, we do not see them having the quality to topple Genk in Belgium on Thursday.

The hosts have been strong going forward throughout the season, and should have enough to make it two wins from two.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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