Israeli and Romanian sides will meet for the second time in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage as Maccabi Haifa FC host FC Steaua Bucureşti in Group J.
• The teams are meeting for the first time and this is also Steaua's first tie against an Israeli club.
• Maccabi have faced Romanian opposition before. They took on ACF Gloria 1922 Bistriţa in the 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup; losing the home leg 2-0 and winning away by the same margin, before going on to lose the resulting penalty shoot-out 3-2.
• That tainted victory remains the only one an Israeli side have achieved in eight games against Romanian clubs in UEFA competition, with the other seven producing two draws and five defeats.
• Israeli and Romanian sides have already met in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, with FC Rapid Bucureşti triumphing 1-0 at Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in Group C on matchday one.
• Maccabi have won their last five European home games since losing 1-0 to FC Girondins de Bordeaux in their final 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage game.
• Steaua have not won in nine UEFA away games (five draws and four defeats) since a 2-1 UEFA Europa League play-off win at Saint Patrick's Athletic FC on 27 August 2009.
• Steaua's defender Geraldo Alves and Maccabi's midfielder Seidu Yahaya were on the books at AEK Athens FC together from 2007 to 2010. Alves made 44 appearances and Yahaya just three; with neither player finding the net during their time in Greece.
• Steaua's Montenegrin forward Stefan Nikolić and Maccabi's Serbian goalkeeper Bojan Saranov were both registered with OFK Beograd in the 2007/08 season, though the latter was loaned out for much of that campaign and the former never featured for the Serbian side.
• Having previously led FC Ashdod in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup, Elisha Levi won league titles with Maccabi in 2008/09 and 2010/11 and took them through a UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in 2008/09. However his side struggled, finishing bottom of a group they shared with FC Bayern München, Olympique Lyonnais and ACF Fiorentina, picking up just one point along the way.
• Levi would have been up against another Israeli coach had Roni Levy not resigned as Steaua boss in the wake of their 1-1 draw at AEK Larnaca FC on matchday two.
• The new Steaua boss is Ilie Stan, who spent the bulk of his playing career as a midfielder with the club (1987-95 and 1997), venturing abroad to represent KSV Cercle Brugge, AEL Limassol FC and Israeli sides Hapoel Petach-Tikva FC and Hapoel Tzafririm FC. He was briefly assistant coach of Romania in 2002 and 2004, and led FC Victoria Brăneşti to Romania's top flight with back-to-back promotions before resigning in April 2011.
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