FC Nordsjælland were only nine minutes from registering their first UEFA Champions League victory in their last home game and will be hoping to go one step further against Group E leaders FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
• When the teams met on 19 September, Nordsjælland's debut in the competition, Henrikh Mkhitaryan proved decisive, scoring his first UEFA Champions League goals to give Shakhtar a 2-0 victory.
• Nordsjælland followed that with a 4-0 home defeat by Chelsea FC but came close to upsetting Juventus in their next fixture. Only a late equaliser earned the Italian side a 1-1 draw, before Juve flexed their muscles in the Turin return with a 4-0 victory.
• Shakhtar drew 1-1 at Juve on matchday two and then beat Chelsea 2-1 in Ukraine before succumbing to a late winner a 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
• Shakhtar remain top of the section on seven points, level with Chelsea and one ahead of Juventus. Nordsjælland have a single point and must win both their last two games to have any chance of European football in the spring.
• The matchday one fixture was the teams' first competitive meeting but they did play a friendly on 1 February 2011 in Elche during their winter camps in Spain. Shakhtar were 3-1 winners in the Copa del Sol tournament quarter-final thanks to goals from Mkhitaryan, Alex Teixeira and Dmytro Chygrynskiy. Matti Lund Nielsen scored the Danish team's late reply.
• The lineups were:
Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Raţ, Hübschman (Stepanenko 63), Mkhitaryan, Douglas Costa (Moreno 69), Jadson (Alex Teixeira 46), Willian (Eduardo 46), Luiz Adriano (Vytsenets 63).
Nordsjælland: Hansen, Kildentoft (Handel 65), Adu, Stokholm (Christensen 61), Mikkelsen (Ayanoglu 71), Oviedo, Nordstrandt (Granskov 69), Parkhurst, Gyutkyar (Nielsen 74), Laudrup, Jensen.
• Shakhtar are the first opponents from Ukraine that Nordsjælland have faced while the Donetsk club have only played one other Danish team. That came in the 1983/84 European Cup Winners' Cup first round when they beat B 1901 Nykøbing 5-1 away and 4-2 at home.
• Nordsjælland have had four campaigns in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, reaching the first round proper twice. On each occasion they lost to Greek opponents, going down to Panionios GSS in 2003/04 and Olympiacos FC in 2008/09.
• Last year the Farum club were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by Sporting Clube de Portugal at the first hurdle for the second season in a row, losing 2-1 away from home after a goalless first leg in the play-offs.
• The Danish champions have won only three of their nine home games in UEFA competition; the Juventus draw extended their winless run on their own turf to five matches, three of which ended in defeat. Indeed, Nordsjælland are without a victory in ten European games home and away, losing eight; their last win was 2-1 at home to Queen of the South FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round.
• Shakhtar began last season's group stage with a 2-1 defeat at FC Porto and also lost 1-0 away to FC Zenit St Petersburg. They concluded with a 2-0 victory at APOEL FC – the only win in their last six European away fixtures – but still finished fourth in the section.
• Mircea Lucescu scored one of his nine international goals against Denmark in a qualifier for the 1976 UEFA European Championship, Romania winning 6-1 in Bucharest on 11 May 1975. As Romania coach, Lucescu masterminded a 1-0 win against Denmark in Bucharest on 1 September 1982.
• Anders Christiansen was part of the Denmark team that drew 2-2 with Ukraine in a preparatory match before the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Herning on 28 March last year.
• Kasper Lorentzen was in the Denmark team that defeated Ukraine 3-2 in a qualification match for the 2005 European U21 Championship at Farum Park on 3 September 2004.
• Jesper Hansen, Henrik Kildentoft and Lorentzen were in the Denmark U17 team that defeated Ukraine 6-5 on penalties on 9 September 2001 at a friendly tournament in Poland.
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