Thursday 23 Feb

Tottenham vs Gent Match Preview

23 Feb 2017 Stuart S. INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

Tottenham Hotspur

  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
20:05 GMT
23 February 2017

KAA Gent

  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Kick-off
20:05 GMT 23 February 2017

As the Europa League comes back into full swing, Gent make the trip to London as they face Tottenham in the second leg of their last 16 tie. After losing 1-0 in Gent in the first leg, Spurs will be hopeful they can turn the deficit round. Gent will look to frustrate the hosts and then hopefully catch Tottenham on the counter attack, surely the only game plan they can deploy in order to make it through to the next stage of the knockouts.

STATS

  • Tottenham have qualified for the Europa League as a result of finishing 3rd in their original Champions League group, which meant Mauricio Pochettino received a lot of criticism for fielding clearly weakened sides so he could focus on Premier League fixtures. Their last game in the Europa League was the first leg between these two sides where they were beaten 1-0. This meant they didn’t get any away goals, making it even harder to win the tie.
  • Genk have got through to this round after qualifying through their group in second place. However, they didn’t do this very convincingly, getting only 8 points from 6 games, as Shaktar won the group with a maximum 18 points. Their win against Spurs in the first leg will give them a lot of confidence going into the second leg.
  • Kalifa Coulibaly has been Gent’s main source of goals in the competition so far this season with 3 goals. A slightly disappointing total for the main striker but he is still dangerous around the goal.
  • Due to them only playing one game so far in the Europa League this season, Spurs don’t currently have a Europa League top scorer. Hopefully, they’ll be able to grab a couple of goals in this fixture.

HEAD TO HEAD

The only past fixture between the sides was in the first leg, therefore Gent have a 100% win rate against this week’s opponents.

TOTTENHAM NEWS

Pochettino’s side should have no problems getting through to the next round of the Europa League with a fully available squad except for one player. Erik Lamela will miss the game with a hip injury that he picked up back in October. This gives Spurs a great chance to advance to the next round in a European competition, something they haven’t been able to do for a few years now.

Latest matches: Tottenham Hotspur

19.02.2017 FA C Fulham FC Tottenham Hotspur 0:3 W
16.02.2017 UEFA KAA Gent Tottenham Hotspur 1:0 L
11.02.2017 Prem Liverpool FC Tottenham Hotspur 2:0 L
04.02.2017 Prem Tottenham Hotspur Middlesbrough FC 1:0 W
31.01.2017 Prem Sunderland AFC Tottenham Hotspur 0:0 D

GENT NEWS

Gent also have a fully fit side to choose from, which gives them the best possible chance of progression into the next round. A defensive side will probably be the choice for Gent as they look to hold on to their slender lead away at Tottenham as they know they’ll struggle to gain a lead of their own.

Latest matches: KAA Gent

19.02.2017 Firs Standard Liege KAA Gent 1:1 D
16.02.2017 UEFA KAA Gent Tottenham Hotspur 1:0 W
11.02.2017 Firs KAA Gent AS Eupen 0:1 L
05.02.2017 Firs SV Zulte Waregem KAA Gent 1:1 D
29.01.2017 Firs KAA Gent Club Brugge 2:0 W

SUMMING UP!

As Tottenham are on their own soil, they should certainly see themselves progress through to the next round of the Europa League but if Gent manage to grab an early away goal, then it will be uphill task for Spurs to get back into it. Spurs fans will definitely expect to beat Gent but a defensive game plan might put pain to any chance of a Spurs win.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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