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 turns 53 on the day of the Spurs game
Hein Vanhaezebrouck turns 53 on the day of the Spurs game ©AFP/Getty Images

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

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.

Gent have won half of their ten European games this season
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.

• Spurs need four more goals to reach 400 in UEFA club competition. With 396 in 201 games to date, they have averaged around 1.97 goals per game so far.

Tottenham's Belgian international Toby Alderweireld
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).

Suspended: none.
Misses next match if booked: Renato Neto (Gent).

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.

UEFA makes new donation of €100,000 to ICRC
UEFA will mark a decade of helping Afghan landmine victims on Wednesday, when Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos presents a cheque for €100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"I would like to pay tribute to the ICRC, who have been working relentlessly to help landmine victims, many of whom are children. Their programme in Afghanistan, which has been in place for several years, shows that football can offer real hope in challenging times," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

"I am glad that UEFA can help this cause, and that the sport we love can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process of so many people in this troubled region," he added.

The donation supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan – providing artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and access to the rehabilitation centre's football team. About a third of patients are children.

Sergio Ramos will present the donation before his side's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Napoli at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 15 February.

"The people benefiting from the ICRC programme in Afghanistan are an inspiration to us, as they set an example of how to approach life in a positive manner despite the problems that they face," the Real Madrid captain said.

Sergio Ramos was chosen to hand over the cheque after receiving the most votes in's Team of the Year, which was published in January, and added that it is "a privilege" to be "a source of motivation" to so many people.

"They don't stop dreaming, and they fight to make their dreams come true. As key figures in this sport, it's a true privilege for us footballers to be a source of motivation in their day-to-day lives, and to help them out," he said.

Over the course of a partnership lasting almost 20 years, UEFA has donated in excess of €3.5m to the ICRC to help disadvantaged people around the globe. Meanwhile, over 7 million votes were cast in selecting the users' Team of the Year 2016. More information on the award is available online at