Gent take on Omonia in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying playoff on Thursday.
Both clubs qualified for this stage as a result of winning their domestic cups last season.
Despite amassing 62 points across the course of the league season – their highest tally since finishing third in the 1999-2000 season – Gent could only reach fifth place in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League.
Still, a 13-point improvement from Hein Vanhaezebrouck‘s debut season in charge was taken to another level by winning only their fourth Belgian Cup in the club’s history, with Anderlecht beaten on penalties in the final after a 0-0 draw after extra time.
Despite only ever once winning the Belgian top division, Gent have a highly respectable record in European competitions in recent years, progressing beyond the group stage of the Europa League on two occasions since 2016.
With only Omonia standing between themselves and the group stage this time around, Vanhaezebrouck will feel confident of having a stab at a creditable European run once again.
Omonia, on the other hand, are relative rookies on the European stage, although they have competed in the Europa League and Europa Conference League group stages in the last two seasons.
After winning the Cypriot Championship in the 2020-21 season, their domestic form took a massive downturn last time out, with The Queen finishing seventh in the regular season and ending up in the relegation half of the table as a result for the first time in 58 years.
It was no surprise, then, when former Manchester United Henning Berg was relieved of his head coaching duties, with former Celtic boss Neil Lennon impressively attracted to replace him.
The former Scotland midfielder made himself a hero within two months of taking the job as he led Omonia to their first domestic cup triumph in 10 years, beating Ethnikos Achna on penalties after a goalless draw following extra time.
The Cypriots will head to Gent as underdogs, but having only been one game away from reaching the Champions League group stage two seasons ago, perhaps they should not be under-estimated.
Gent will remain without midfielders Julien de Sart, Elisha Owusu and Tarik Tissoudali, who all face significantly more time on the sidelines with injuries.
Vanhaezebrouck could name the same XI which comfortably dispatched SV Oostende 3-1 away from home on Friday night, meaning that former Porto striker Laurent Depoitre may be reduced to making an impact from the bench.
Omonia, meanwhile, do not appear to have any injuries limiting Lennon’s selection options.
The 51-year-old’s side were beaten 2-0 by Apollon Limassol in their first competitive game of the season on Friday, but he may ask the same players to go again and bounce back from the Super Cup defeat.
Gent possible starting lineup:
Roef; Hanche-Olsen, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Torunarigha; Samoise, Marreh, Kums, Castro-Montes; Hjulsager, Cuypers, Hong
Omonia possible starting lineup:
Fabiano; Yuste, Lang, Miletic; Matthews, Charalampous, Bruno, Bachirou, Lecjaks; Kakoullis, Matavz