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Having toppled UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the third qualifying round, Romanian debutants FC Timişoara will set out to make a positive start to their UEFA Champions League play-off round tie with Bundesliga challengers VfB Stuttgart.
• Hosts Timişoara earned themselves a spot in the third qualifying round after finishing second in the Romanian Liga 1 last term, three points behind champions AFC Unirea Urziceni and two ahead of FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti.
• Their reward was a tough tie against Shakhtar, but after Gheorghe Bucur struck twice in Ukraine to seal a 2-2 draw, Ioan Ovidiu Sabău's troops then held on to a 0-0 stalemate at home to progress on away goals.
• Stuttgart ended their own domestic campaign in third to book a play-off round ticket, falling five points short of the tally amassed by Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg and three short of Bayern.
• While Timişoara are newcomers to the competition, Stuttgart will be looking to seal their third tilt at the UEFA Champions League group stage after gaining automatic access in both 2003/04 and 2007/08.
• In their only other appearance, during the inaugural edition of the competition in 1992/93, they failed to reach the group stage under a different format, losing out to first-round opponents Leeds United AFC following a 2-1 play-off loss at the Camp Nou.
• Stuttgart's only previous encounter with a Romanian outfit ended in victory as they defeated FC Rapid Bucureşti 2-1 during the UEFA Cup group stage in 2005/06. Recent FC Bayern München signing Mario Gómez fired both their goals.
• Current Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel contested the match as a player, while Timişoara duo Valentin Bădoi and Artavazd Karamyan turned out for Rapid.
• Former Romanian international forward Ioan Viorel Ganea played for both teams, turning out for Stuttgart between 1999 and 2003 and spending the 2007/08 campaign at Timişoara.
• Timişoara defender Balász Borbély turned out in a 1-1 draw against Stuttgart while on loan with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in March 2006.
• Stuttgart's Thomas Hitzlsperger and Timişoara's Bucur were on opposite sides when Germany beat Romania 3-1 in a friendly on 12 September 2007, though they were not on the pitch at the same time.
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