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German contenders 1. FC Nürnberg know three points will put them in the last 32 as they finish their Group A campaign with a home game against point-less Larissa FC.
• After defeat at home against Everton FC, a draw at FC Zenit St. Petersburg and a win at home against AZ Alkmaar, Nürnberg are fourth in the section, level on points with third-placed AZ but with an inferior goal difference.
• Hans Meyer's side thus need a win to progress. A draw will not be enough unless AZ lose their 32-match unbeaten home record at home against Everton in Thursday's other Group A fixture.
• Should all go well, Nürnberg could finish either second or third in the section. Second place would see them face one of the eight third-placed finishers from the UEFA Champions League group stage in the Round of 32, playing the second leg at home. Third place would see them up against one of the group winners from the other UEFA Cup sections, playing the second leg away.
• Under the rules of the draw, Nürnberg would not be able to play against another German side until the Round of 16.
• Georgios Donis's Larissa are sure to finish bottom of Group A after losing all three of their games to date against Everton, Zenit and AZ. They are one of four teams to have lost all of their group stage games to date this season along with Toulouse FC, FK Crvena Zvezda and FK Austria Wien.
• Larissa's Cypriot midfielder Nektarios Alexandrou turns 24 on 19 December, the day before the game.
• Nürnberg defender Dominik Reinhardt also celebrates his birthday on that day, turning 23.
• The two teams have never met in UEFA club competition.
• Larissa have never come up against German opposition before, and this is also Nürnberg's first game against a Greek side.
• Two Larissa players have experience of German football. Slovakian forward Jozef Kožlej played half a season on loan with SpVgg Greuther Fürth in 1998/99, while German defender Marco Foerster started his career at VfB Leipzig and played for a number of other lower league sides before moving to Greece in 2000.
• Prior to losing 3-2 against Zenit in this season's group stage, Larissa had never lost a home game in UEFA competition – a run which stretched back to 1983.
• Nürnberg, meanwhile, have to look back almost 40 years for their last away defeat in European competition. They are unbeaten in their last three European away games since being beaten 4-0 at AFC Ajax in the 1968 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.
• Nürnberg's Michael Beauchamp is within a booking of a one-match suspension along with Larissa's Cleyton, while Elias Kotsios is serving a one-match suspension after being sent off in Larissa's last Group A game.
• The draw for the Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be held in Nyon on 21 December from 13.00CET.
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