Valencia CF will look to shore up some rickety home form in UEFA Europa League Group A as they welcome FC St Gallen, with history suggesting the Swiss side could be in for a hard time.
• The two teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, and this is St Gallen's first encounter with Spanish opponents.
• Valencia's four games against Swiss clubs have ended W2 D2 L0 – they have won both of their previous home fixtures against Swiss opponents, and drew 2-2 in both of their previous visits to Switzerland.
• Swiss sides have not traditionally excelled on Spanish soil, winning only two of the 23 previous UEFA games between clubs representing the two nations in Spain, drawing four and losing 17. The aggregate score in those matches is 54-13 to the Liga clubs.
• Both sides come into the game having won one game and lost one in Group A, though St Gallen are ahead of Valencia in the standings due to a better goal difference.
• Worryingly for Valencia, they are without a win in their last three continental home games (D1 L2), and were beaten 3-0 by Swansea City AFC at Mestalla on matchday one.
• Valencia made it through to the knockout phase in both of their previous group stage attempts in this competition – in 2008/09 and 2009/10. They have not had a European season that has been over by Christmas since 2007/08, when they finished bottom of their UEFA Champions League group.
• St Gallen last played in this competition when they were eliminated in the second round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup by SC Freiburg.
• Valencia defender Antonio Barragán played alongside St Gallen's Guinean forward Alhassane Keita at Real Valladolid CF while the latter was on loan at the then second-tier side at the start of the 2010/11 season. Keita also played in the Spanish top division for RCD Mallorca from 2008 to 2010 but never came up against Valencia.
• St Gallen's German midfielder Dejan Janjatovic briefly played in Spain for Getafe CF's B team, though his only competitive appearance was a 4-0 third-tier defeat by Real Madrid Castilla.
• Serbian coach Miroslav Djukić returned in June 2013 to the club he served as a sweeper from 1997-2003; two UEFA Champions League finals and the 2001/02 title with Valencia represented the pinnacles of his long playing career in Spain. As a coach, he led FK Partizan and Serbia as well as Belgium's R. Excelsior Mouscron before returning to Spain to take charge of Hércules CF and then Real Valladolid CF.
• St Gallen coach Jeff Saibene is the first Luxembourger to lead a club in a major UEFA club competition group stage. Having moved abroad as a teenager to sign for R. Standard de Liège, the midfielder left three years later for Switzerland, where he spent much of his career. After coaching spells at FC Thun and FC Aarau, he joined St Gallen in March 2011, leading them back to the top division in his first full season and to third place in his second.
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