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Dinamo seek perfect start

Published: Tuesday 7 October 2008, 21.45CET
Although NK Dinamo Zagreb have a fine record against Dutch clubs as they prepare to host a NEC Nijmegen side playing their first UEFA Cup group stage game, a first home win against Eredivisie opponents still eludes them.
Dinamo seek perfect start
Dinamo's Milan Badelj after scoring against Sparta in the first round ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Dinamo ZagrebNEC

Goals scored7
 
7
Attempts on target17
 
23
Attempts off target13
 
28
Corners17
 
30
Offsides2
 
12
Fouls committed35
 
96
Yellow cards12
 
14
Red cards0
 
0

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Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Tuesday 7 October 2008, 21.45CET

Dinamo seek perfect start

Although NK Dinamo Zagreb have a fine record against Dutch clubs as they prepare to host a NEC Nijmegen side playing their first UEFA Cup group stage game, a first home win against Eredivisie opponents still eludes them.

NK Dinamo Zagreb can reflect on a fine record against Dutch clubs as they host a NEC Nijmegen side playing their first UEFA Cup group stage game, but a first home win against Eredivisie opponents still eludes them.

• This is Dinamo and NEC's first meeting in UEFA club competition.

• Dinamo have played five games against Dutch sides in UEFA club competition, but their record is an unusual one. They have won their only two games in the Netherlands but have never beaten a Dutch side at home, recording two draws and a defeat.

• AFC Ajax will remember their ties against Dinamo only too well. They drew 0-0 in Zagreb and lost 1-0 in Amsterdam in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage and were then knocked out of last season's UEFA Cup in the first round by Dinamo, winning 1-0 in Croatia but losing the return leg 3-2 at home to succumb on away goals.

• Mario Been's NEC boast nothing like Ajax's European pedigree and are coming up against Croatian opposition for the first time.

• Croatian champions Dinamo have come to the UEFA Cup group stage by the long route. This is their ninth match in European competition this season. They beat Linfield FC and NK Domžale, both over two legs, to set up a UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, but lost 5-1 on aggregate. A 0-0 draw at home and a 3-3 away result against AC Sparta Praha then propelled them through the UEFA Cup first round.

• NEC finished eighth in the Eredivisie last season, winning a UEFA Cup place via the Dutch end-of-season play-offs. They beat FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti 1-0 on aggregate in the first round to earn a first stab at the UEFA Cup group stage.

• Dinamo are coached by Branko Ivanković. Having played for NK Varteks for his entire career, he moved into coaching with the Varazdin club, before joining NK Segesta and HNK Rijeka in a similar capacity ahead of assisting Miroslav Blažević as Croatia coach between 1997 and 1999. He subsequently was in charge at Hannover 96 and then led Iran to the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals.

• He is in his second spell at Dinamo. He was first hired in 2006, winning a double without losing a game in his first season before resigning the following January. He was reappointed in May, replacing Zvonimir Soldo who had led the club to a second successive double.

• Udinese Calcio take on Tottenham Hotspur FC in Matchday 1's other Group D game. FC Spartak Moskva are the only side in the section not in action on 23 October.

Last updated: 15/10/08 14.10CET

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