No Italian team has ever won at the Weser-Stadion and SV Werder Bremen will be determined to ensure this remains the case when they welcome UC Sampdoria to northern Germany for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.
• Thomas Schaaf's Bremen are aiming to book their return to the group stage after competing in the UEFA Europa League last season but they will likely face determined resistance from a Sampdoria side who last competed at this level in 1992.
• Fourth in Serie A last term, Sampdoria are hoping to secure a place in Europe's elite club competition for only the second time. The Genoese club's first appearance came in 1991/92 when they progressed all the way to the final before losing to FC Barcelona at Wembley.
• By contrast Bremen have been regulars in the UEFA Champions League in recent years, competing in the group stage for five consecutive seasons between 2004 and 2009. They qualified for the play-off by finishing third in the Bundesliga in 2009/10.
• Last season Bremen strolled through a UEFA Europa League play-off, beating FK Aktobe 8-3 on aggregate and eventually reaching the last 16.
• Sampdoria's most recent European campaign was in 2008/09 when they reached the UEFA Cup round of 32.
• While Bremen coach Schaaf is overseeing his 113th UEFA club competition match, this is the first for his opposite number Domenico Di Carlo, who replaced Juventus-bound Luigi Delneri at the Sampdoria helm this summer.
• Bremen are unbeaten at home against Italian opposition, having won seven and drawn six of 13 previous matches against Serie A visitors.
• Bremen have a strong record in two-legged ties against teams from Italy with seven wins and two defeats.
• Their most recent encounters against Italian sides came en route to the 2008/09 UEFA Cup final, when they defeated AC Milan in the round of 32 and Udinese Calcio in the quarter-finals, on both occasions mounting dramatic comebacks.
• After a 1-1 home draw with Milan, Bremen fell 2-0 behind at San Siro only for Claudio Pizarro to hit two second-half goals that earned Bremen victory on away goals. Against Udinese they won 3-1 at home but trailed by the same score at half-time in the return before Pizarro sent them through with another second-half double.
• Sampdoria's most recent match against a German side came at home to VfB Stuttgart in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage when Paolo Sammarco's equaliser earned a 1-1 draw.
• Sampdoria have a 100% winning record in two-legged ties against German clubs.
• For three successive seasons they faced Bundesliga opposition in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and came out on top each time, beating FC Carl Zeiss Jena (second round, 1988/89), BV Borussia Dortmund (second round, 1989/90) and 1. FC Kaiserlautern (first round, 1990/91).
• The Italian club's only defeat in eight games against German sides was in the first leg of that 1990 tie against Kaiserslautern but they undid the damage of a 1-0 reverse back in Genoa where Roberto Mancini and Marco Branca secured a 2-1 aggregate victory.
• Reto Ziegler played in the Bundesliga for Hamburger SV in 2005/06.
• Marko Arnautovic spent last term on loan at FC Internazionale Milano but appeared only three times in Serie A.
• Vladimir Koman made his international debut for Hungary in May in a 3-0 defeat by a Germany side including Bremen's Marko Marin, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil.
• Sampdoria's Lithuanian international Marius Stankevicius scored against an Austria team including Bremen's Sebastian Prödl in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Innsbruck. Austria won 2-1 although Stankevicius's Lithuania had previously prevailed 2-0 at home.
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