PSV Eindhoven have won their last seven home games in continental competition and will hope to make that eight when UC Sampdoria come calling in their UEFA Europa League Group I opener.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition, and this is also Sampdoria's first game against a Dutch club.
• PSV have played 18 games against Serie A opponents, with the record W6 D3 L9 (W6 D0 L3 at home). They have lost their last two home matches against Italian visitors, FC Internazionale Milano and, most recently, ACF Fiorentina.
• PSV have won their last seven European home games since losing 3-1 to Liverpool FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage. They only conceded in one of those seven victories and the run was kicked off with five straight 1-0 victories.
• Sampdoria, meanwhile, are on a run of three continental defeats on their travels, during which they have scored just once and conceded eight times.
• The Genoa side are competing in their third group phase, having recorded two wins and two defeats in their four previous group stage away games. Given that they have alternated wins and defeats during those fixtures, they are due a victory.
• Hired in April 2009 just a month after being dismissed by FC Schalke 04, Fred Rutten won three titles with PSV as assistant to Guus Hiddink in the mid-2000s. A defender, he spent his entire playing career with FC Twente, moving straight from the pitch to the dugout as assistant coach in 1988. First given the top job in 1999, he led Twente to success in the 2000/01 Dutch Cup before heading for PSV, initially to work with the youth team. He returned to Enschede in 2006, leaving for Gelsenkirchen two years later.
• Domenico Di Carlo took over as Sampdoria coach in the summer having served his coaching apprenticeship at Mantova FC, Parma FC and AC Chievo Verona. A defensive midfielder, he spent the best years of his career with Vicenza Calcio, returning to the northern club after retirement to work with the youth team.
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