NK Maribor will look to buck the trend in previous games between Slovenian and Portuguese sides as they welcome SC Braga in UEFA Europa League Group H.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition having never met opponents from their opposite numbers' home country before.
• Only four games in UEFA competition have been played between Slovenian and Portuguese club sides – all of them involving SL Benfica. The Slovenian teams' record in those fixtures is W0 D1 L3 (W0 D1 L1 at home) with an aggregate scoreline of 17-2 in favour of the Lisbon outfit.
• Maribor had gone six matches without defeat at home in Europe (five wins and a draw) before going down 2-1 to Birmingham City FC on matchday two.
• A 3-1 win at Birmingham City on matchday one was Braga's first victory in seven European away games (three draws and four defeats – not counting the 1-0 loss to FC Porto in last season's UEFA Europa League final in Dublin).
• Maribor are within one goal of conceding their 50th in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. This is their 33rd game in the two competitions, the first being a 0-0 draw with ACF Gloria 1922 Bistriţa on 15 September 1993.
• Maribor sporting director Zlatko Zahovič spent ten years as a player in Portugal with Vitória SC, Porto and Benfica. Capped 80 times by Slovenia, the attacking midfielder also won four league titles (three with Porto and one with Benfica) as well as two Portuguese Cups (one with Porto, one with Benfica).
• Maribor coach Darko Milanič started his career as a defender with FK Partizan (1986-93), moving on to SK Sturm Graz (1993-2000) and representing both Yugoslavia and Slovenia internationally, earning 47 caps in total. Hired to coach Maribor in 2008, he has now won two league titles and one Slovenian Cup.
• Leonardo Jardim is in charge at Braga having replaced Sporting Clube de Portugal-bound Domingos Paciência in the summer. The Venezuelan-born coach was in charge at AD Camacha (2003-08), GD Chaves (2008-09) and SC Beira-Mar (2009-11) before becoming Braga boss in May 2011.
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