Holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk visit Fulham FC for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie mindful that their hosts have yet to lose a home game in European club competition.
• This is Fulham's first meeting with Ukrainian opposition but Shakhtar have been to London before, having previously taken on both Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC. They won at home against both of those sides, but lost 3-2 at Arsenal and drew 1-1 at Tottenham, the latter result confirming their progress from last season's UEFA Cup round of 32.
• This will be Fulham's 25th game since their European debut in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup, and their first post-Christmas UEFA club competition fixture.
• Fulham are yet to lose in 12 European home fixtures, earning eight wins and four draws. They scored once in each of their UEFA Europa League group stage fixtures at Craven Cottage, those three goals bringing two wins and a draw. Only once have they conceded more than once in a European home game, drawing 2-2 with HNK Hajduk Split in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round.
• Winners of the final edition of the UEFA Cup in May 2009, Shakhtar featured among the last 32 in four of the last five UEFA Cup campaigns, winning three ties (against FC Schalke 04 in 2004/05, AS Nancy-Lorraine in 2007/08 and Tottenham in 2008/09) and losing to LOSC Lille Métropole in 2005/06.
• Prior to a 1-0 reverse at FK Partizan in their final group fixture in December, Shakhtar had been unbeaten in five European away games, registering four wins and a draw.
• This will be the first time that experienced Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has come up against Ukrainian opposition.
• Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu has been involved in 11 games against English sides – one as a player, two as an international coach and eight more as a club coach. His record in those matches reads W2 D7 L2 (W0 D3 L2 in England).
• Both Hodgson and Lucescu are former FC Internazionale Milano coaches. Hodgson was in charge of the Nerazzurri from 1995 to 1997, Lucescu from 1998 to 1999. Hodgson's Inter side lost the 1996/97 UEFA Cup final on penalties to Schalke.
• Fulham defender Chris Smalling has agreed to join Manchester United FC in the summer.
• The return match will be played in Donetsk on 25 February with the winners to face the victors of the tie between AFC Ajax and Juventus in the round of 16 on 11 and 18 March, playing the second leg at home.
Misses next match if booked: Jonathan Greening
Players added to squad: Pascal Zuberbühler, Kagisho Dikgacoi, David Elm
Players removed from squad: Diomansy Kamara, David Stockdale, Andrew Johnson, Joe Anderson, Marcus Bettinelli, Neil Etheridge, Adam Watts
Misses next match if booked: Răzvan Raţ
Players added to squad: Douglas, Ruslan Fomin, Artem Tetenko
Players removed from squad: Julius Aghahowa, Oleksiy Polyanskiy
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