A. Académica de Coimbra will look to end a wait of well over 40 years for a European win as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC head to Portugal in UEFA Europa League Group B for their 100th UEFA game.
• The clubs have never previously met in UEFA competition, and this is Académica's first encounter with Israeli opponents.
• Hapoel's only experience of Portuguese teams came in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage when they lost 2-0 at SL Benfica but beat the Eagles 3-0 in the return fixture.
• Prior to this season, Académica had not played in Europe since losing 7-1 on aggregate to eventual runners-up Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in the first round of the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1971.
• A 3-1 defeat at FC Viktoria Plzeň on matchday one means that the Students have not won in five European games – losing the last four – since a 2-0 win against 1. FC Magdeburg on 26 November 1969, almost 43 years ago.
• Prior to their 3-0 home defeat by holders Club Atlético de Madrid, Hapoel had been on a five-game unbeaten run in Europe, a sequence which included four consecutive victories.
• Hapoel are undefeated in three European away games – two 3-1 wins and a 3-3 draw.
• Hapoel are engaged in their sixth UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, and their third in succession. They have made it through to the round of 32 in two of those seasons, most recently in 2009/10, but never got beyond the first knockout round.
• This will be Hapoel's 100th UEFA competition game; their last 99 have ended W46 D17 L36.
• With 64 appearances in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League, Hapoel captain Walid Badier is level with Mladen Petrić in fifth place in the competition's all-time appearance rankings. He will make the spot his own if he plays in Coimbra, and will be one outing shy of Enzo Scifo in fourth.
• Born in Angola, ex-defender Pedro Emanuel helped Boavista FC win their only league title in 2000/01, before he claimed five more championships as a player with FC Porto, as well as the 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League. Assistant to André Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010/11, he took sole command of Académica the following season and guided the side to Portuguese Cup glory – their first trophy since 1939.
• Yossi Abukasis took over as Hapoel coach ahead of matchday two, with Nitzan Shirazi taking up a role as the club's general manager due to health issues. Capped 35 times as a midfielder, Abukasis won a title as a Hapoel player, and two more at Beitar Jerusalem FC. He was assistant coach at Hapoel (2008–11), and took sole command at Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv FC in 2011/12. He is working at Hapoel in tandem with a role as assistant to Israel coach Eli Guttman.
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