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Helsingborg out to stifle Levante

Published: Wednesday 14 November 2012, 10.34CET
Helsingborgs IF have only a slender hope of a UEFA Europa League round of 32 place, but they can deal Levante UD a substantial blow as the sides meet again in Group L.
Helsingborg out to stifle Levante
Álvaro celebrates a goal for Helsingborg ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 14 November 2012, 10.34CET

Helsingborg out to stifle Levante

Helsingborgs IF have only a slender hope of a UEFA Europa League round of 32 place, but they can deal Levante UD a substantial blow as the sides meet again in Group L.

Helsingborgs IF will look to throw a spanner in the works for Levante UD, with defeat in Sweden having the potential to make things tough for the Spanish side in UEFA Europa League Group L.

• Helsingborg must win both of their remaining games to have any chance of a round of 32 place. Levante would make it through to the round of 32 in their first European campaign with a win in Sweden, but a draw or a defeat could leave them vulnerable to being caught on matchday six.

Previous meetings
• Levante won 1-0 when the sides met in Valencia on matchday one. Former Spanish international Juanfran was the unlikely match winner, the left-back scoring his first goal since rejoining the club in 2010. It was Levante's first experience of Swedish opposition and Helsingborg's first UEFA game against a team from Spain.

• The 26 past UEFA club competition ties between teams from the two countries have finished largely in the Spanish teams' favour. Spanish clubs' record against their Swedish counterparts reads W19 D4 L3 (W13 D2 L0 at home – W6 D2 L3 in Sweden). Those home results include the away leg of FC Barcelona's 1974/75 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final against Åtvidabergs FF, which was also played at the Camp Nou.

• The Spanish side have won the last ten meetings between Spanish and Swedish clubs since AIK Solna held Barcelona to a 1-1 home draw in a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup game on 20 March 1997. There have been 13 meetings since the last Swedish win: IFK Göteborg's 2-1 success against Barça in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 28 September 1994.

Match background
• Having opened their campaign with two home wins, Helsingborg are now without a victory in three European home games, conceding two goals in each of them.

• Levante are making their debut in UEFA club competition this season, having earned a play-off place in the UEFA Europa League with a sixth-placed finish in the 2011/12 Liga campaign.

• Levante's three European away games to date have ended W1 D1 L1.

Team facts
• With AIK also having qualified, this is the first time that more than one Swedish side has competed in the group stage of a UEFA competition in the same season.

• Levante midfielder Papa Diop and Helsingborg left-back Erik Edman were briefly team-mates at Stade Rennais FC in 2006.

• Back for a second spell as Helsingborg coach, Åge Hareide represented Molde FK, Manchester City FC and Norwich City FC as a defender, and was capped 50 times by Norway. As a coach, he won domestic titles in Sweden (Helsingborg 1999), Denmark (Brøndby IF 2001/02) and Norway (Rosenborg BK 2003) before leading Norway (2003–08), and resumed command at Helsingborg in June, following stints with Örgryte IS and Viking FK.

• In Hareide's only previous fixtures against Spanish opponents, RC Deportivo La Coruña edged out his Rosenborg side 1-0 on aggregate in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• 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 Spanish football, 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: 21/11/12 9.27CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000356/match=2010009/prematch/background/index.html#helsingborg+stifle+levante

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