Europa League: Hull City vs Lokeren match preview

A look ahead to the second leg of this Europa League play-off at the KC stadium

Hull City are just one game away from reaching the group stages of the Europa League but they have it all to do at the KC Stadium as they approach this second leg needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit.

It is a similar situation to the one in which they found themselves in the previous qualifying round just three weeks ago, when they conceded an early goal in the second leg against AS Trencin. Ahmed Elmohamady and Sone Aluko bagged the goals that turned the tie that day and they are both in line to feature on Thursday, too.

If there’s one man in particular who is praying they can pull off a repeat comeback it is Allan McGregor, whose howler in the first leg meant that the Tigers came away from Belgium empty-handed. The Scot inexplicably passed the ball straight to Lokeren midfielder Hans Vanaken, who rounded the 32-year-old and rolled the ball into the net for the only goal of the game.

McGregor had been the hero in Hull’s Premier League opener, saving a penalty to ensure his side held onto three points against QPR. He was picked for Saturday’s game against Stoke but Steve Harper will be waiting in the wings in case Steve Bruce has a crisis of faith.

With the exception of last Thursday’s blunder-induced defeat, it has been a promising start to the season for Bruce’s men. They looked set to back up their opening-day victory with an unlikely 10-man win against Stoke before Ryan Shawcross grabbed a controversial late equaliser.

Steve Bruce made nine changes to his side ahead of the first leg and looks set to tinker again, but it is unsure to what extent. How much does he value a place in the group stages? The drawbacks of a Europa League campaign are well-documented but the fans tasted the joy of a cup run last year in the FA Cup and will surely want more.

 

KICK-OFF: Thursday, 7.45pm

 

PAST MEETINGS…

Prior to last week’s first leg, the sides had never met before.

 

STATS…

Lokeren have won on neither of their previous two trips to England, losing to Newcastle United in 2001 and to Manchester City in 2003.

Last week’s defeat was Hull’s first since the end of last season, having gone unbeaten through pre-season and the opening two Premier League games.

Hull have never played in Europe before this season.

Ahmed Elmohamady was the only player to be ever-present last season in the league for Hull, starting all 38 matches.

 

ODDS…

Hull to win: 1.56

Lokeren to win: 6.4

Draw: 4.2

 

TV:

Not televised.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most