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First victory the prize for Neftçi and Partizan

Published: Tuesday 13 November 2012, 20.02CET
The pride of claiming a first victory of the group stage is at stake when eliminated duo Neftçi PFK and FK Partizan meet in Azerbaijan on matchday five in UEFA Europa League Group H.
First victory the prize for Neftçi and Partizan
Stefan Šćepović's (left) Partizan are looking for a first group stage win this season ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 13 November 2012, 20.02CET

First victory the prize for Neftçi and Partizan

The pride of claiming a first victory of the group stage is at stake when eliminated duo Neftçi PFK and FK Partizan meet in Azerbaijan on matchday five in UEFA Europa League Group H.

Neftçi PFK will look to secure their first victory in a UEFA group stage game as FK Partizan head east in UEFA Europa League Group H.

• Neftçi and Partizan are both certain to miss out on a place in the round of 32 following home defeats on matchday four.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time in a 0-0 draw in Belgrade on matchday one, with the Azerbaijani champions putting up stout resistance on their group stage debut.

• Partizan's arch-rivals FK Crvena zvezda proved too strong for Neftçi over two legs in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup qualifying round; Red Star came back from 2-0 down to grind out a 3-2 win in Baku then beat Neftçi 1-0 in Belgrade.

• Partizan, in their only previous encounter with Azeri opposition, came up against Neftçi's capital rivals İnter Bakı PİK in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, drawing 1-1 in Baku and winning the tie 2-0 on home soil.

Match background
• Neftçi are the first Azeri side to make it to the group stage of a UEFA club competition. With seven league titles, they are the most successful team in Azerbaijan since independence, having set a Soviet-era high-water mark for the republic by finishing third in the USSR's top division in 1966.

• Neftçi are now without a win in four European home games since kicking off their 2012/13 campaign with a 3-0 victory at home against FC Zestafoni of Georgia.

• Partizan have lost their last four European away games – failing to score in three of them – since starting their campaign with a 4-1 triumph at Valletta FC.

Team facts
• Neftçi, Partizan, CS Marítimo, AEL Limassol FC and SK Rapid Wien are the 2012/13 group stage's lowest-scoring sides, with just one goal each.

• Neftçi have fielded two notable Serbian players in the past: goalkeeper Vladimir Mićović (2005-10) and Belgrade-born striker Branimir Subašić (2005-08), who took Azeri citizenship during his time with the club and now plays for Azerbaijan at international level.

• The current Neftçi squad features another Serb, goalkeeper Saša Stamenković.

• Partizan defender Aleksandar Lazevski and Neftçi counterpart Igor Mitreski were team-mates at international level with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

• Boyukagha Hajiyev is the coach of Neftçi. A coach and player at now-defunct MFK Araz-Naxçivan, he spent several years coaching in Iran and was Vagif Sadygov's assistant with the national team in 2005. Having won a first national title in what was initially a caretaker spell FK Bakı in 2005/06, Hajiyev won the crown again in 2011/12, his first season at Neftçi.

• Partizan coach Vladimir Vermezović started his career as a defender for the club, moving abroad later to play for Real Sporting de Gijón, UD Salamanca, Panionios GSS and Hannover 96. He then coached Partizan feeder club FK Teleoptik before taking charge of the senior side from 2004-05, returning in 2012 following spells at FC Spartak Trnava and South Africa's Kaizer Chiefs FC.

Last updated: 14/11/12 11.07CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000356/match=2010002/prematch/background/index.html#first+victory+prize+neftci+partizan

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