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Home advantage for Twente against Levante

Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 12.05CET
Levante UD may have an unblemished European home record, but they travel to Enschede to face an FC Twente side unbeaten in 12 continental fixtures on their own patch.
Home advantage for Twente against Levante
Levante ran out comfortable winners against Twente on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 12.05CET

Home advantage for Twente against Levante

Levante UD may have an unblemished European home record, but they travel to Enschede to face an FC Twente side unbeaten in 12 continental fixtures on their own patch.

Levante UD are in a strong position in Group L but will have their work cut out in Enschede if FC Twente's recent European home form is anything to go by.

• Míchel's penalty just before the hour set Levante on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Twente on matchday three, Pedro Ríos scoring twice in the closing 12 minutes.

• Levante are second in Group L and will qualify for the round of 32 with two games to spare if they beat Twente and Helsingborgs IF fail to defeat Hannover 96.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time on matchday three in what was European greenhorns Levante's first game against a Dutch club.

• Twente's eight games against Spanish teams have ended W3 D0 L5 (W3 D0 L1 in Enschede – W0 D0 L4 in Spain).

Match background
• Twente are unbeaten in 12 European home games (nine wins and three draws) since a 3-1 loss to Villarreal CF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

• The win against Twente on matchday three was Levante's biggest home triumph in UEFA competition. They still have a perfect record after three European home fixtures and have yet to concede a goal to foreign visitors at the Estadi Ciutat de València.

Team facts
• Levante's Greek striker Fanis Gekas could meet up with two former team-mates: he played alongside Twente's Russian forward Dmitri Bulykin at Bayer 04 Leverkusen (2007–08), and with defender Rasmus Bengtsson during a loan spell at Hertha BSC Berlin in 2009/10.

• Twente left-back Edson Braafheid and Levante right-back Christian Lell were also colleagues at FC Bayern München (2009–10).

• Levante midfielder Nabil El Zhar and Twente goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov were both on the books at Liverpool FC at the start of the 2007/08 campaign. While El Zhar made 21 first team appearances for the English club, Bulgarian Mihaylov never featured for the Reds, earning a permanent move to Twente in February 2010 following a two-and-a-half-year loan spell.

• Twente coach Steve McClaren kicked off a second spell in charge at the club in January, having won the 2009/10 Eredivisie title in his first spell before joining VfL Wolfsburg. A midfielder in the English lower leagues, he assisted Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United FC, then led Middlesbrough FC to English League Cup success in 2004 and the 2005/06 UEFA Cup final, before embarking on a short-lived spell as England manager.

• This is Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez's first campaign in UEFA club competition. As a central midfielder, he never rose higher than the third tier in Spain, and coached in youth and women's football, working his way up the senior men's leagues to take charge of Levante in June 2011. He is often known by his initials, JIM, in Spain.

Last updated: 05/11/12 17.57CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000356/match=2009986/prematch/background/index.html#home+advantage+twente+against+levante

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