GNK Dinamo Zagreb will look for history to repeat itself when they host NK Maribor in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.
• Dinamo have won all five previous two-legged contests with Slovenian rivals – including their past encounter with Maribor in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. Maribor are hoping to turn that history on its head, however, as they bid to return to the group stage after a 13-year absence.
• When the teams met in 2003, the first leg in Slovenia was drawn 1-1, Damir Pekič cancelling out Niko Kranjčar's opener for Dinamo.
• In the Zagreb decider, Dinamo won 2-1, Andre Mijatović (59) and Dino Drpić (63) scoring to overturn Stipe Balajič's tenth-minute opening strike. Nikola Jurcević's hosts held on despite the sending-off of Dumitru Mitu.
• The full lineups for that encounter at the Maksimir Stadium on 6 August 2003 were:
Dinamo: Jozić, Mijatović, Sedloski, Drpić, Mikić, Tomić (Štrok 56), Agić, Mujčin, Kranjčar (Cesar 87), Eduardo (Zahora 90), Mitu.
Maribor: Kuzma, Vuksanovič (Franci 73), Filekovič (Brežič 64), Pitamič, Karič, Golob, Balajić, Teinović, Čeh (Komljenovič 83), Rakovič, Pekič.
• Ante Čačić's Dinamo have cause for confidence having won their last four home qualifying matches in UEFA competition, including against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and FC Sheriff this summer. The 3-2 win against Ludogorets came via a Domagoj Vida strike eight minutes into added time which saved Dinamo from elimination on away goals.
• Dinamo can draw further confidence from their record against Slovenian teams. Besides their 2003 success against Maribor, they beat an NK Primorje side led by Darko Milanič, now Maribor's coach, in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup second qualifying round, winning 4-0 at home to set up a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
• The Zagreb club subsequently posted UEFA Champions League qualifying wins against NK Domžale (2007/08 and 2008/09) and FC Koper (2010/11).
• Dinamo are seeking a swift return to the UEFA Champions League after last season's group stage participation – their third after previous appearances in 1998/99 and 1999/2000.
• Maribor's only previous group stage appearance was in 1999/2000 and followed a 3-0 aggregate victory over Olympique Lyonnais. Ante Šimundža and Balajić – the Croatian whose No19 shirt was retired by the club after his eight years' service – hit the goals in the 2-0 second-leg home success.
• Maribor have won both away matches on this season's qualifying round, 2-1 at FK Željezničar and 1-0 at F91 Dudelange.
• Maribor coach Milanič has twice tasted defeat at the Stadion Maksimir. As well as the aforementioned 4-0 loss with Primorje in 2004, he was in the SK Sturm Graz side beaten 3-0 in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• Milanič appeared for Slovenia in a 3-1 home loss to Croatia in 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
• Jerko Leko and substitute Nikola Pokrivač played in Croatia's 3-2 friendly success against Slovenia in Maribor in August 2008.
• Sammir has scored in Dinamo's past three knockout wins against Slovenian sides – netting in the 5-1 home success over Koper in 2010, the 3-0 victory at Domžale in 2008, and the 3-1 home defeat of the same opponents a year earlier.
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