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Genk v Gent background

Three goals, 125km and a letter separate Genk and Gent as they come together for their all-Belgian UEFA Europa League round of 16 decider.

Hein Vanhaezebrouck comforts his players after the first leg
Hein Vanhaezebrouck comforts his players after the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

A distance of 125km and a letter of the alphabet is not all that separates Genk and Gent as they prepare for their all-Belgian UEFA Europa League decider, the Blue-and-Whites having secured an impressive 5-2 away win in the first leg.

• Suspended
Gent: Anderson Esiti

• Misses next game if booked
Genk: Tino-Sven Sušić
Gent: Kalifa Coulibaly, Renato Neto

Previous meetings
• Gent v Genk is only the second all-Belgian tie in UEFA competition history; Mechelen defeated Anderlecht 3-0 on aggregate in the other, a 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup second-round encounter.

• Genk's record against Gent in Belgian league meetings is W27 D10 L19. The sides registered a win each in their two Belgian Cup fixtures.

Watch superb Genk free-kick in all-Belgian clash
Watch superb Genk free-kick in all-Belgian clash

Form guide
• Genk have won all seven European home games this season, conceding just once in the process.

• Gent need to win by a three-goal margin to make it to the quarter-finals; they last scored three in a UEFA away match in this season's play-offs, beating Albania's Shkëndija 4-0.

• Genk are in the last 16 of a major UEFA competition for the first time, and won for the first time in a springtime UEFA fixture in the round of 32 second leg against Astra Giurgiu.

• Gent reached the UEFA Champions League round of 16 last year, 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.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Ghent to Genk is around 125km.

• Former team-mates
Daniel Miličević (Gent) & Sebastien Dewaest (Genk) – Charleroi, 2013–14
Kalifa Coulibaly (Gent) & Sebastien Dewaest (Genk) – Charleroi, 2014–15
Lovre Kalinić (Gent) & Tino-Sven Sušić (Genk) – Hajduk Split, 2012–16

• In addition, Gent's Miličević and Genk's Sušić are international team-mates with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Genk came through qualifying this season
Genk came through qualifying this season©AFP

• Genk are the only side to have progressed from the second qualifying round of this season's competition to the round of 16; APOEL and København have had similarly long campaigns, having started out in the equivalent UEFA Champions League round.

• Two of 12 Swedish players involved in the round of 16, Gent's Jacob Rinne and Emir Kujovic are dreaming of playing in the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm.

• Belgium, with three clubs, is the best-represented country in the last 16. Only Germany and Russia, with two apiece, also have more than one representative.

The coaches
• Peter Maes took Genk to the round of 32 but was dismissed in late December after a disappointing run of league results.

Genk coach Albert Stuivenberg
Genk coach Albert Stuivenberg©Sportsfile

• Genk's new boss is Albert Stuivenberg. Once a Feyenoord trainee, he later ran the club's academy, and led the Netherlands to UEFA European Under-17 Championship successes in 2011 and 2012. He was Louis van Gaal's assistant at Manchester United.

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

• Vanhaezebrouck was also coach of Genk from July to November 2009.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Genk have won both of their previous UEFA penalty shoot-outs:
W 4-2 A v Budućnost Podgorica (2016/17 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round)
W 4-1 H v Maccabi Haifa (2011/12 UEFA Champions League play-offs)

• Gent's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
L 4-3 H v Vardar (2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup second round)
W 4-1 A v Lausanne (1991/92 UEFA Cup first round)