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NEC Nijmegen will look to seize upon the initiative they regained on Matchday 4 as they host already-qualified Udinese Calcio in their final Group D game, with a win giving them the best chance of earning a UEFA Cup Round of 32 place.
• NEC won 2-1 at FC Spartak Moskva on Matchday 4 to join NK Dinamo Zagreb and their Russian hosts on three points, while on the same night, Udinese clinched qualification with a 2-1 win against Dinamo.
• With much depending on the outcome of the night's other game between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Spartak, NEC know that if they win by a three-goal margin they are guaranteed to go through. Anything less and they could find themselves out of the competition.
• Should NEC win at Udinese they will have six points. If a NEC win coincides with a Spartak win then three sides will finish Group D with six points and one will not qualify. Only one side has ever picked up six points and still failed to progress from the group stage: Rangers FC missing out in 2004/05.
• If NEC and Spartak both lose, a side will qualify with three points for the first time in the five-season history of the UEFA Cup group stage. Even Dinamo, who finished their campaign on Matchday 4, could still go through if NEC and Spartak each go down by five-goal margins.
• Finishing positions in the section are important when it comes to the Round of 32 draw. Group winners will be paired with third-placed sides from other UEFA Cup sections, while runners-up will be drawn against one of the eight sides who finished third in the UEFA Champions League groups. The UEFA Cup group winners and runners-up will play the second leg at home.
• This is NEC and Udinese's first meeting in UEFA club competition. NEC have never met Italian opponents before.
• Udinese have played one two-legged fixture against a Dutch side, meeting AFC Ajax in the second round of the 1998/99 UEFA Cup. They lost on away goals, going down 1-0 away and winning the home leg 2-1.
• This is Udinese coach Pasquale Marino's first game against a Dutch side.
• NEC's Mario Been has never faced Italian opposition as a coach, but did so once as a midfielder, starting in FC Wacker Innsbruck's 1-0 defeat at AS Roma in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup. It was his last UEFA competition match as a player.
• In their six European home games to date, NEC have won just once, beating FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti 1-0 in the first round of this season's UEFA Cup. Their overall UEFA club competition record at the De Goffert Stadion reads W1 D2 L3.
• Udinese have won both of their UEFA Cup away games this season.
• NEC's Lorenzo Davids and Bas Sibum are within a booking of a one-match suspension.
• The draw for the UEFA Cup Round of 32 (when teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other) and Round of 16 will be held at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon on Friday 19 December at 13.00CET.
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