Winners in three of the last seven seasons, FC Barcelona begin their latest bid for UEFA Champions League glory with a Group G home fixture against FC Spartak Moskva.
• The match is Tito Vilanova's first in the UEFA Champions League as Barcelona coach and Josep Guardiola's former No2 has a hard act to follow given that Barcelona reached at least the semi-finals in each of Guardiola's four seasons, winning the trophy twice.
• Spartak appointed a Spanish coach, Unai Emery, in the summer. He has never led a team to victory against Barcelona before.
• When the clubs met in the 1993/94 group stage, Barcelona won the section – going on to reach the final – and Spartak finished third. Spartak fought back from two down when drawing 2-2 in Moscow on 2 March 1994, Rodionov (77) and Valeri Karpin (88) cancelling out strikes by Hristo Stoichkov (10) and Romário (66).
• Karpin, now Spartak's executive director, was on target again after three minutes of the Camp Nou return a fortnight later but Barcelona hit back to win 5-1, with Stoichkov (34), Guillermo Amor (75), Ronald Koeman (78, 80), and Romário (86 pen) all scoring.
• Barcelona are unbeaten in 16 European home outings dating back to a 2-1 defeat by another Russian team, FC Rubin Kazan, in October 2009.
• Barcelona's overall home record against Russian sides is W4 D0 L2. The most recent visit was from Rubin in the 2010/11 group stage when Andreu Fontàs and Víctor Vázquez struck in a 2-0 win.
• Spartak's record in Spain is W4 D0 L8. Artem Dzyuba is the only survivor of their last trip, a 2-1 defeat at RC Celta de Vigo in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 32, appearing as a half-time substitute as Spartak lost 3-2 on aggregate.
• Barcelona are competing in their ninth consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign and not since 2000/01 have they failed to progress from the group stage – the last season that Spartak advanced to the last 16. The Russian club have fallen at this stage on their last three attempts, most recently in 2010/11.
• Spartak reached the group stage after a 3-2 aggregate play-off success over Fenerbahçe SK, drawing the second leg in Istanbul 1-1. The Moscow club took six points on their travels in the 2010/11 group stage.
• As coach of Almería CF and Valencia CF, Unai Emery lost each of his six previous visits to the Camp Nou and is still seeking his first win against Barcelona at the 13th attempt. Emery's Valencia suffered two Camp Nou defeats in February, 2-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-final and 5-1 in the Liga. His overall record against Barcelona is W0 D5 L7.
• David Villa and Jordi Alba both played under Emery at Valencia.
• Karpin and José Pinto were team-mates at Celta from 1998 to 2002.
• While at RCD Espanyol (2008–10), Nicolás Pareja took part in their first away derby win against Barcelona in 27 years, 2-1 in February 2009. He suffered a 1-0 defeat the following season.
• Kim Källström's Olympique Lyonnais went down 3-0 at Barcelona in the opening game of the 2007/08 group stage and also played in the teams' 2-2 draw in France. He faced Barcelona again in the 2008/09 round of 16, a 1-1 home draw and 5-2 away reverse. Källström played with Éric Abidal at Lyon in 2006/07.
• Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's Russia lost twice at UEFA EURO 2008 against the Spain of Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Cesc Fàbregas and Villa.
• Aiden McGeady was in the Republic of Ireland side beaten 4-0 by the Spain of Xavi, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Alba, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets at UEFA EURO 2012 . McGeady was also in the Celtic FC team eliminated by Barcelona at the round of 16 stage in 2007/08, suffering 3-2 home and 1-0 away losses.
• José Manuel Jurado played for Real Madrid CF, Club Atlético de Madrid and RCD Mallorca.
• Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi are colleagues of Pareja and Juan Insaurralde with Argentina. Dani Alves and Adriano play with Romulo for Brazil.
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