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Small wonders think big on matchday three

Published: Thursday 18 October 2012, 12.28CET
FC BATE Borisov and group stage debutants Málaga CF will try to maintain their unlikely 100% starts, with both sides taking on more established names on matchday three.
Small wonders think big on matchday three
Eliseu celebrates a goal for Málaga on matchday two ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 18 October 2012, 12.28CET

Small wonders think big on matchday three

FC BATE Borisov and group stage debutants Málaga CF will try to maintain their unlikely 100% starts, with both sides taking on more established names on matchday three.

Málaga CF and FC BATE Borisov will look to keep fighting above their weight as the UEFA Champions League group stage approaches its midway point on matchday three.

Tournament debutants Málaga have yet to lose a home game in Europe as they take on AC Milan, having surged to the top of Group C following back-to-back victories. BATE also made it six points from six with a win against FC Bayern München, and will attempt to take that tally to nine when Valencia CF visit Belarus in Group F.

Tuesday's games
Group E (FC Nordsjælland v Juventus; FC Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea FC)

• This is the first time Nordsjælland have faced Italian opposition in a European match while Juventus have met just one Danish team – 30 years ago. On 15 September 1982 they beat Hvidovre IF 4-1 in Copenhagen in a European Champion Clubs' Cup first-round tie, drawing the return leg 3-3.

• These are the first opponents Chelsea have encountered from Ukraine but it is the fourth time in five seasons Shakhtar have played an English side. Most recently they beat Arsenal FC 2-1 at home in the 2010/11 group stage.

Group F (FC BATE Borisov v Valencia CF; LOSC Lille v FC Bayern München)

• BATE have lost all six meetings with Spanish clubs. At home they have conceded eight goals without scoring themselves; in fact, only a goal in their first fixture away to Villarreal CF prevents a total blank in those six games, which have brought 18 goals against.

• LOSC's Salomon Kalou started Chelsea's UEFA Champions League final victory against Bayern in May, going off after 84 minutes.

Group G (FC Spartak Moskva v SL Benfica; FC Barcelona v Celtic FC)

• Spartak boss Unai Emery's first European coaching assignment came against a Portuguese team in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round when his Valencia CF outfit took on CS Marítimo. After a 1-0 victory in Madeira, Emery's side recorded a 2-1 home success.

• With Arsenal, Barcelona's Cesc Fàbregas and Alex Song enjoyed a 5-1 aggregate triumph against Celtic in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Group H (Galatasaray AŞ v CFR 1907 Cluj; Manchester United FC v SC Braga)

• As captain of Turkey, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim took on Ioan Andone, his CFR counterpart, in a 1-1 friendly draw with Romania at the Ali Sami Yen on 29 January 1983. They met again on 9 March that year, in Targu Mures, with Romania winning 3-1.

• Braga coach José Peseiro's former Sporting Clube de Portugal charges eliminated two English clubs – Middlesbrough FC and Newcastle United FC – en route to the 2004/05 UEFA Cup final. Peseiro served as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson's former No2 Carlos Queiroz at Real Madrid CF in 2003/04.

Wednesday's games
Group A (FC Porto v FC Dynamo Kyiv; GNK Dinamo Zagreb v Paris Saint-Germain FC)

• Porto and Dynamo were rivals in the 2008/09 group stage with each winning away. Dynamo prevailed 1-0 in Portugal thanks to a 27th-minute Oleksandr Aliyev goal, and took the lead in the return fixture in Kyiv through Artem Milevskiy (21). Second-half strikes from Rolando (69) and Lucho González (90+2) turned the match around.

• Dinamo have lost four of their six home games against Ligue 1 opposition, with victory in the other two matches. They have not beaten a French team in eight attempts, home or away, since overcoming AJ Auxerre 3-1 in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg in Zagreb; even then they lost the return 3-0.

Group B (Arsenal FC v FC Schalke 04; Montpellier Hérault SC v Olympiacos FC)

• Schalke have never won a competitive contest in England. Their overall record in England is W0 D1 L4. The only time they have avoided defeat was on their first visit, a 2-2 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in a 1958/59 European Champion Clubs' Cup first-round tie.

• After three straight 2-1 reverses on French soil, Olympiacos tasted success on their last visit to the country, winning 1-0 at Olympique de Marseille in last term's group stage. The Piraeus club have lost eight of 12 games in France and recorded three victories. In just three of those 12 trips have they failed to score.

Group C (FC Zenit St Petersburg v RSC Anderlecht; Málaga CF v AC Milan)

• Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti has won all eight of his assignments against Belgian sides during his coaching career. In Spalletti's second European tie as a coach, his UC Sampdoria team beat KRC Zuid-West-Vlaanderen 4-0 on aggregate in the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• This is Málaga's second season of European football and they remain unbeaten at home in UEFA competition. They have shipped only three goals in ten continental home outings.

Group D (AFC Ajax v Manchester City FC; Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF)

• Ajax coach Frank de Boer made his international playing debut in September 1990 in the Netherlands' 1-0 defeat in Palermo by an Italy side for whom Roberto Mancini, his City counterpart, appeared as a 55th-minute substitute. Ajax assistant coach Dennis Bergkamp came off the bench for the Oranje.

• Madrid's 23 previous away games against German opponents have yielded 16 losses and a single victory – 3-2 against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2000/01.

Last updated: 18/10/12 16.28CET

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