Hull City find themselves tantalisingly close to making their first appearance in the Europa League proper. Standing between them and the big time stand a Lokeren side who will be hoping for a repeat performance of their victory in the first leg. The history books show that things are in Hull’s favour having won at home in their previous qualifier and the small matter of Lokeren never having won on English soil.
Europa League Play Off: Hull City v Lokeren Preview
With very little experience of European football, it is difficult to predict how Hull City will handle the tie against Lokeren. They have never played European football and may come unstuck against a side who will look to play on the counter attack. Often the underdog in England, Hull will find themselves in the unusual position of having to control the game from kick off. However, while Hull City as a club are newcomers to this level of football, they have a squad full of players who should be comfortable playing in the Europa League. Domestically, Hull have started the season reasonably well. A win against QPR followed by a draw at home to Stoke City will have given them confidence and they should win tonight.
While Hull have never played at this level, Lokeren have been fairly consistent performers on the European stage. Unfortunately for them their record isn’t anything to write home about. After ten years in the European wilderness they were knocked out at the play-off stage last season. They have endured an inconsistent start to their domestic campaign having lost the Belgian Super Cup and their opening league game. They had looked to have picked up some form after that though with a draw and two victories, but defeat at the weekend sees them stuck in seventh place. They were perhaps a bit fortunate to beat Hull in the first leg as the English side had more possession and more shots on target and I would be surprised if they were in the draw tomorrow.