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Heerenveen await European giants

Published: Tuesday 7 October 2008, 1.00CET
AC Milan kick off their UEFA Cup group stage campaign at SC Heerenveen's Abe Lenstra Stadium looking to win the only major European trophy that has eluded them in their illustrious history.
Heerenveen await European giants
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will lead his team of stars to the Netherlands on Matchday 1 ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

HeerenveenMilan

Goals scored9
 
15
Attempts on target29
 
33
Attempts off target14
 
22
Corners20
 
27
Offsides13
 
26
Fouls committed51
 
70
Yellow cards6
 
9
Red cards0
 
0

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Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Tuesday 7 October 2008, 1.00CET

Heerenveen await European giants

AC Milan kick off their UEFA Cup group stage campaign at SC Heerenveen's Abe Lenstra Stadium looking to win the only major European trophy that has eluded them in their illustrious history.

AC Milan kick off their UEFA Cup group stage campaign at SC Heerenveen's Abe Lenstra Stadium looking to win the only major European trophy that has eluded them in their illustrious history.

• Milan have won the European Champion Clubs' Cup on seven occasions – including three times since the advent of the UEFA Champions League – in addition to two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, three European/South American Cups and five UEFA Super Cups.

• The UEFA Cup is thus the only major European competition which they have not won. The nearest they have come so far was reaching the semi-finals in 1971/72 and 2001/02, losing to Tottenham Hotspur FC and BV Borussia Dortmund respectively.

• This is Heerenveen and Milan's first meeting in UEFA club competition.

• Heerenveen have played against one Italian side before, losing 2-1 at Parma FC in the group stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Cup. They have never played against an Italian side at home.

• Milan are no strangers to Dutch opposition, having played 20 games against Eredivisie sides – including the finals of three UEFA club competitions.

• They beat AFC Ajax 4-1 in Madrid to win the 1968/69 European Champion Clubs' Cup, but lost the 1973 UEFA Super Cup 6-1 on aggregate to the same opponents. The Amsterdam club then beat Milan 1-0 in the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League final in Vienna.

• In total, their record against Dutch sides reads won ten, drawn two and lost eight. In nine games on Dutch soil, they have won three, drawn one and lost five.

• Milan qualified for the UEFA Cup first round with a fifth-placed finish in Serie A last season, and beat FC Zürich 4-1 on aggregate in the first round to embark upon their first group stage campaign.

• Heerenveen finished fifth in the Netherlands last season, earning their UEFA Cup place through the end-of season play-offs. They beat Vitória FC 6-3 on aggregate in the first round, defeating the Setubal side 5-2 at home after a 1-1 draw in Portugal.

• Heerenveen's Norwegian boss Trond Sollied has come up against Carlo Ancelotti's Milan before, and for the moment honours are even. His Club Brugge KV side met Milan in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage. Sollied's men surprisingly won 1-0 in Italy against the then European champions, Andrés Mendoza on target, but lost 1-0 at home, with Kaká scoring the only goal.

• SC Braga take on Portsmouth FC in Matchday 1's other Group E game. VfL Wolfsburg are the only side in the section not in action on 23 October.

Last updated: 15/10/08 14.00CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2009/matches/round=15285/match=304176/prematch/background/index.html#heerenveen+await+european+giants

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