Gent vs Tottenham - as it happened: Spurs shocked by Gent in Europa League defeat

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The Independent Football

After Tottenham's first Champions League campaign since 2011 came to an ignominious end in Monaco last November, Spurs now have the chance to redeem themselves.

It may not offer the same prestige or glory as Europe's top-flight competition, but the Europa League still offers Mauricio Pochettino's men the opportunity to broaden their exposure to and experience in continental football.

Indeed, Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has urged his side to take tonight's fixture against Gent seriously. “In our mind it has to be like the Champions League,” he said. “It is still a good competition to win and we are all ambitious. We want to go as far as possible."

Both teams come into the game off the back of a defeat, with Spurs having lost 2-0 at Liverpool last Saturday, on the same day that Gent were beaten 1-0 at home by Eupen.

However, while Pochettino's side remain in Champions League contention in third place in the Premier League, Gent are down in eighth in the Belgian top flight. 

Tottenham head into the tonight's last-32 first-leg as favourites but don't expect an easy ride.

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Thursday's Europa League last-32 fixtures:

United 20:05 Saint-Étienne

FK Krasnodar 16:00 Fenerbahçe

Olympiakos 18:00 Osmanlispor

AZ Alkmaar 18:00 Lyon

B Gladbach 18:00 Fiorentina

Celta Vigo 18:00 Shakt Donsk

FC Rostov 18:00 Sparta Prague

Ludo Razgd 18:00 FC Copenhagen

Astra Giurgiu 18:00 KRC Genk

Ath Bilbao 20:05 Apoel Nic