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Spurs Odyssey Europa League Preview - Spurs v K.A.A. Gent, 23.02.17

Last season's corresponding game - This time last year we beat Fiorentina 3-0 at home to qualify for the Round of 16
Last week's game - K.A.A. Gent 1 Spurs 0, 16.02.17
Last week's match preview
See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats


Spurs' record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
 
U.E.F.A Champions League
 
 P   W   D   L   F - A
18   7   4   7  31 - 25
 
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
 
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
 
European Cup Winners Cup
 
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
 
(Winners 1963)
 
UEFA Cup/Europa League
 P    W   D   L   F - A
139  78  35  26  274-119 
 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
 The club logo of K.A.A.Gent
Total
P    W   D   L   F - A
198 109 45  44  391-191

Have Spurs got their mojo back?

Our 3-0 FA Cup win at Craven Cottage on Sunday came as a result of a Spurs performance that was almost as dominating as you could wish, with the exception that we probably should have scored more than the three goals that added to Harry Kane's ever-mounting tally. It came also as a result of fielding almost a first choice team. A team of similar strength will be required tomorrow night in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium.

Hordes of Gent fans (some 7,000) are apparently coming to London, but they will be overwhelmed by the masses of Spurs fans who will need to be urging their team on to victory from the start of this game. Daniel Levy and the powers that be made a superb pricing policy for this game with tickets available from as little as 5. I have been fortunate enough to get a seat in the Club Wembley tier for just 15, which is an absolute bargain!

Incidentally, KAA Gent fans are being directed to "The Green Man" and "The Arch" pubs in the Wembley area.

Last week, Spurs tickets worked out at 35 including the booking fee and had a face value of 40 Euros. The home fans were fleeced to the tune of 70 euros in the area directly next to the away fans. Such was the clamour for tickets and the level of enthusiasm in Belgium for the game.

Spurs have never won in Belgium, and maintained that record last week with the 1-0 defeat. On the other hand, we haven't lost at home to a Belgium side, having won three and drawn one of our four home games. Drawing will not be enough tomorrow, of course, and we won't want a penalty shoot-out (which would occur should we win 1-0), so we need to win by two clear goals.

Can we do that? Well, if we hit the sort of form displayed at Fulham, and hit the target more than we managed in Ghent, then of course we can. Perhaps the welcome return of Jan Vertonghen on Sunday was a big factor in our return to form. As it happens, the team disappointed in all 6 games that he missed. We struggled to get a draw at The Etihad in January. We were lucky to beat Wycombe in the FA Cup, and then we failed to score a goal in open play in four consecutive games. Not all of those struggles were down to the absence of "Super Jan", but who knows what an influence his presence beside International and club partner Toby Alderweireld had?

Another Belgian, Mousa Dembele, got a rousing applause when he was substituted last Thursday from the home fans, and having played just the last 21 minutes on Sunday, Mousa can probably be expected to start tomorrow. Eric Dier and Kyle Walker were rested on Sunday and will probably both start here. Mauricio Pochettino has more or less given the standard update regarding Erik Lamela and Danny Rose, neither of whom will be available tomorrow, or for Sunday. We can surely expect to see another strong team tomorrow, with club captain Hugo Lloris also likely to make a return, having also been rested on Sunday.

Gent drew their league game last Saturday away to Standard Liege. They went one down just before half-time but defender Stefan Mitrovic equalised soon after the break. Last week in my preview I commented about their recent signing Yuya Kubo, but he was not registered in time to qualify for this Europa League tie, hence his non-participation. Last week's goalscorer Jeremy Perbet was a late substitution replacement for Kubo in Saturday's game and can be expected to start in a little chanaged Gent side tomorrow.

Have Spurs got their mojo back? I'll stick my neck out and say we will get the win we require. An early goal in our favour would give the team and crowd loads of confidence and probably swing the game in our favour. It should be a great night!

Referee Manuel De Sousa and his onfield officials are from Portugal. We have seen this referee twice before. In October 2011, he was in charge when we beat Rubin Kazan 1-0 at home in a Europa League match, and in August 2014 Mr. De Sousa officiated when we beat AEL Limassol of Cyprus 2-1 away in the first leg of a Europa League play-off game. This referee has already been in charge of three Champions League matches this season, the last of which was Arsenal's 4-1 win in Basel in December.

Reviewing Spurs' last Champions League Season - 2010-11 . This time 6 years ago Spurs contrived to lose 3-1 at Blackpool.

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