Gent v Tottenham background

Gent have a major challenge ahead in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as they welcome two-time UEFA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur.

Hein Vanhaezebrouck (Gent)
©AFP/Getty Images

Gent will look to hold firm in the face of strong opposition as Tottenham Hotspur cross the Channel in search of their first victory in Belgium in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time.

• In their only previous UEFA tie against English opponents, Gent lost 2-1 on aggregate to eventual winners West Ham United in the 1964/65 European Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round.

• Spurs have yet to win a game in Belgium. Their eight matches against Belgian sides have ended W3 D3 L2 (W3 D1 L0 in London – W0 D2 L2 in Belgium).

Form guide
• Gent's record in ten European fixtures this season is W5 D3 L2 (W3 D1 L1 at home). Their only defeats were home and away against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Kenneth Saief (Gent)
Gent have won half of their ten European games this season©AFP/Getty Images

• Spurs won only two of their UEFA Champions League group stage games this season, home and away against CSKA Moskva.

• Gent made it to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 last season, losing to Wolfsburg. Their best UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League campaign came in 1991/92, when they were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals. They have yet to win a springtime UEFA game in four attempts (D1 L3).

• European Cup Winners' Cup winners in 1963, and UEFA Cup winners in 1972 and 1984, Spurs reached last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16, where they were beaten by Borussia Dortmund.

Links and trivia
• The journey from London to Ghent is around 275km.

• Spurs boast Belgian talent in the form of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembélé, though only the latter (with Germinal Beerschot, 2004–05) ever played club football in his home country.

Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
Tottenham's Belgian international Toby Alderweireld©AFP/Getty Images

• Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama and Gent's Rami Gershon and Rabiu Ibrahim were team-mates at Celtic in 2012/13.

• Gent's Nana Asare and Spurs reserve goalkeeper Michael Vorm were club-mates at Utrecht (2009–11).

• Spurs (1972, 1984) are one of seven former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32, along with Borussia Mönchengladbach (1975 & 1979), Anderlecht (1983), Ajax (1992), Schalke (1997), Zenit (2008) and Shakhtar (2009).

The coaches
• Hein Vanhaezebrouck guided Gent to the Belgian title in 2014/15 and steered them to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 last season. He established his reputation during two periods in the dugout of home-town club Kortrijk, for whom he had also played.

• Vanhaezebrouck turns 53 on the day of the Tottenham game.

• Former Argentina centre-back Maurico Pochettino has been in charge of Spurs since summer 2014, having impressed in spells at Espanyol and Southampton. He spent the bulk of his playing career with Espanyol, but also represented Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux in France.