Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League campaign kicks off with a testing trip to face Gent in the first leg of their round-of-32 tie.
The Europa League was not on Spurs' agenda at the start of the season, but failure to get beyond the group stages of the Champions League means that Mauricio Pochettino's men have been parachuted into this competition as the knockout stage gets underway.
It is the sixth successive season in which the team from north London have participated in this tournament, but Spurs' record on the road in the Europa League will give Pochettino plenty to think about.
Indeed, Spurs have won just one of their last seven away matches in the competition, scoring more than a single goal in just one of their last nine Europa League ties away from home.
Nevertheless, Tottenham are chalked up as Betway's 4/5 (1.80) favourites to seize the initiative in the tie by coming out on top, while the same firm go 11/4 (3.75) that Pochettino's team are forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Gent are in the midst of a poor run of form on the domestic front, having won just two of their last 10 league matches; the latest setback came on Saturday when Hein Vanhaezebrouck's side slipped to a desperately disappointing 1-0 home defeat against AS Eupen.
An extended run in European competition could provide a much-needed boost for the Belgians, but Spurs represent a tough test for Vanhaezebrouck's men; indeed, the odds compilers offer 100/30 (4.33) that Gent take a lead into next week's return leg in London.
Gent have conceded 13 Europa League goals - more than any other side still standing in the competition - and their lack of defensive discipline is sure to be a cause for concern for Vanhaezebrouck ahead of this tie, for Spurs have been superb in front of goal at times so far this season.
The north Londoners, though, have managed just a solitary strike in their last three fixtures, while Spurs are likely to shuffle their pack as Pochettino juggles his priorities as the business end of the season approaches.
Backing a low-key, low-scoring contest could provide punters with a path to profit; there have been fewer than three goals scored in each of Gent's last six competitive fixtures, as well as in five of Spurs' last seven Europa League ties on the road.
As such, Betway's 3/4 (1.75) quote for fewer than three goals to be scored when these two teams lock horns represents good value for punters ahead of Thursday's Europa League tussle.
|Under 2.5 goals at 3/4 (1.75) for a 3pt stake with Betway|