UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|KAA Gent||KAA Gent Stadium - GhentThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (18.55 local time) Group L - Matchday 2
|TSG 1899 Hoffenheim|
Gent will be hoping to break their European duck at home to German visitors as they strive to get off the mark in UEFA Europa League Group L against Hoffenheim, who have never won a continental fixture outside their homeland.
• As Gent's group campaign kicked off with a 1-0 defeat at Slovan Liberec, Hoffenheim claimed all three points at home to Crvena zvezda, Austrian international Christoph Baumgartner breaking the deadlock on his European debut before Israeli striker Munas Dabbur sealed a 2-0 win in added time with his 25th European goal.
• This is Gent's ninth UEFA fixture against German opposition and Hoffenheim's first against a club from Belgium. Gent have never defeated a Bundesliga side at home in four attempts (D2 L2) but have won three out of four fixtures in Germany. They took four points off Wolfsburg in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage (2-2 h, 3-1 a), having lost home (2-3) and away (0-1) against the same opponents in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• Runners-up in the abbreviated 2019/20 Belgian First Division A behind Club Brugge, Gent also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they went out to Roma (0-1 a, 1-1 h) having come through three qualifying rounds before finishing top of a section including Wolfsburg, St-Étienne and Olexandriya.
• Gent are competing in Europe for the sixth successive season, extending the longest sequence in the club's history. They entered the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League under new coach Wim De Decker in the third qualifying round, where they overcame Rapid Wien 2-1 at home, but were then beaten home and away by Dynamo Kyiv in the play-offs (1-2 h, 0-3 a), which booked them a fourth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have reached the knockout phase twice, in 2016/17 and last season, having missed the cut on their first appearance in 2010/11.
• Gent were undefeated in 13 European home games against foreign opposition (W8 D5), winning five out of seven last season, before the recent loss against Dynamo. They have only been defeated once at home in nine UEFA Europa League group stage matches (W5 D3), Shakhtar Donetsk prevailing 5-3 on Matchday 4 in 2016/17.
• Sixth place in the 2019/20 Bundesliga secured a return to European football for Hoffenheim after a one-year absence, putting them in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time.
• Hoffenheim failed to progress from their group on their previous appearance in the competition, finishing fourth on five points in 2017/18 in a group containing Braga, Ludogorets and İstanbul Başakşehir. They also finished bottom of their UEFA Champions League group the following season with three points, behind Manchester City, Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk.
• Hoffenheim have scored in all 15 of their European fixtures but have won only two of them, losing eight. They have yet to record a victory outside Germany (D3 L4).
Links and trivia
• Hoffenheim's Algerian forward Ishak Belfodil played in Belgium for Standard Liège, scoring 17 goals in all competitions in 2016/17 – though none against Gent.
• Three Gent players have operated in Germany – skipper Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Hamburg 2008–09) and German imports Tim Kleindienst (Energie Cottbus 2013–15, Freiburg 2015–19, Heidenheim 2016/17 loan & 2019/20) and Niklas Dorsch (Bayern München 2015–18, Heidenheim 2018–20)
• Dorsch and Hoffenheim's Dennis Geiger are Germany Under-21 team-mates.