NK Maribor will hope that third time is the charm as they approach their third UEFA Champions League play-off in as many seasons, with Celtic FC eager to deny them a second group stage tilt.
• Maribor have played three previous two-legged ties against Scottish sides, with the overall record W3 D1 L2 (W2 D0 L1 at home – W1 D1 L1 in Scotland).
• Having lost 6-1 over two legs to the same side in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, Maribor got the better of Celtic's arch-rivals Rangers FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs. Maribor are now on a four-game unbeaten run (W3 D1) against Scottish clubs.
• Celtic are meeting Slovenian opponents for the first time.
• Eliminated in the play-offs in both 2012/13 (by GNK Dinamo Zagreb) and 2013/14 (by FC Viktoria Plzeň), Maribor's only previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaign was in 1999/2000, when they had beaten Olympique Lyonnais in the third qualifying round; Celtic are veterans of eight group stage campaigns.
• Celtic have won their last two UEFA Champions League play-offs since going down to Arsenal FC in 2009/10; they overcame Helsingborgs IF in 2012/13 and FC Shakhtar Karagandy last season.
Links and trivia
• Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths celebrates his 24th birthday on the day of the first leg against Maribor. He has yet to score in four UEFA club matches.
• Scotland's record in three encounters with Slovenia at senior international level is W1 D2 L0; in UEFA age-group competitions, Scotland's record against Slovenia is W7 D1 L3.
• The colour of Celtic's shirts may provide an extra spur for Maribor, whose traditional main rivals in Slovenia, NK Olimpija Ljubljana, also wear green.
• Maribor's naturalised Brazilian captain Tavares recently became one of just six players to reach 300 appearances for the team.
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