FC Internazionale Milano will look to break new ground and score their 500th UEFA club competition goal on matchday two, with milestones looming for many of the 48 group stage contenders.
Inter make their first trip to Azerbaijan to take on PFC Neftçi in Group H, needing two more strikes to make it to 500 in what will be their 339th European game. Eighth in the all-time UEFA club competition appearance list, but only 11th in the scorers rankings, the Nerazzurri cannot expect an easy ride in Baku, with the Azeri champions putting in a fine performance on matchday one to draw 0-0 at FK Partizan.
In Group E, FC Steaua Bucureşti are within two goals of their 350th in Europe, and are visiting an FC København side who need three more strikes to reach 100 in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Centuries of a different kind will come up as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, Newcastle United FC and NK Maribor make their 100th UEFA club competition appearances, against A. Académica de Coimbra, FC Girondins de Bordeaux and S.S. Lazio respectively.
Maribor's meeting with Lazio may have an added frisson, given that the Roman club beat their Slovenian rivals 4-0 in both of their previous meetings, in the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League. Old scores can be settled when Molde FK face the side that eliminated them from the 2010/11 UEFA Cup play-offs, VfB Stuttgart, while Rosenborg BK will look to improve on two previous defeats when they play host to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Getting up close and personal elsewhere will be former Portugal team-mates Paulo Sousa and Ricardo Sá Pinto, now coaching Group G rivals Videoton FC and Sporting Clube de Portugal respectively. A former Sporting player himself, Sousa's heavily Portuguese-accented squad also features defender Marco Caneira, whose third spell as a player with the Lisbon Lions ended with his move to Hungary in 2011.
Meanwhile, holders Club Atlético de Madrid will look to secure a 15th straight win in the competition at home against FC Viktoria Plzeň, while PSV Eindhoven – who lost 2-0 at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on matchday one – will look to make amends against SSC Napoli, and enhance their record of 20 home games unbeaten in Europe.
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