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Hertha welcome Latvian history-makers

Published: Wednesday 2 September 2009, 20.00CET
Hertha BSC Berlin will try to spoil FK Ventspils' grand entrance as the visitors become the first Latvian side to compete in the group stage of a major UEFA club competition in UEFA Europa League Group D.
Hertha welcome Latvian history-makers
Hertha will host the first Latvian club to play in a major UEFA competition group stage ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

HerthaVentspils

Goals scored7
 
3
Attempts on target103
 
50
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners29
 
22
Offsides20
 
10
Fouls committed80
 
70
Yellow cards17
 
8
Red cards2
 
0

Media Services

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Wednesday 2 September 2009, 20.00CET

Hertha welcome Latvian history-makers

Hertha BSC Berlin will try to spoil FK Ventspils' grand entrance as the visitors become the first Latvian side to compete in the group stage of a major UEFA club competition in UEFA Europa League Group D.

Hertha BSC Berlin will look to spoil FK Ventspils' grand entrance as the visitors become the first Latvian side to compete in the group stage of a major UEFA club competition on their UEFA Europa League Group D debut.

Previous meetings

• Hertha and Ventspils have never met before, and this is also the hosts' first game against a Latvian team. Ventspils faced Bundesliga opposition in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round, losing 4-1 in both legs of a tie against VfB Stuttgart.

Match background

• Hertha competed in two UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, reaching the round of 32 in the 2005/06 edition but missing the cut last season.

• Latvian champions Ventspils are the first Virsliga side to make it to the group stage of a UEFA club competition.

• Hertha have lost just one of their last nine European home games, a 1-0 reverse against Galatasaray AŞ last season. Their home form in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage was hardly formidable as they recorded that defeat and a draw with SL Benfica.

• Ventspils have lost their last three European outings. They went down 2-1 at FC BATE Borisov in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg but advanced on away goals, and then suffered defeats in both legs of their play-off against FC Zürich.

• Ventspils' away record in European competition reads P21 W3 D3 L15. Their only victories have come against opponents from Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands, though they have earned honourable draws at Newcastle United FC and Brøndby IF – the side Hertha overcame to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Team facts

• Ventspils' Vitālijs Astafjevs and Vits Rimkus have lined up against Hertha's Arne Friedrich before. Astafjevs and Friedrich both started when Latvia held Germany to a famous 0-0 draw at UEFA EURO 2004™, with Rimkus an unused substitute.

• Rimkus has played in Germany, representing 1. FC Nürnberg in 1996/97 and FC Erzgebirge Aue the following season.

• Ventspils' towering Cameroonian defender Jean-Paul Ndeki started his career as a youth player at Eintracht Frankfurt. He played for lower league side Borussia Fulda before leaving for Latvia in 2004.

• Hertha are coached by the discipline-minded Lucien Favre, who has a reputation for developing young players. He is the holder of 24 Switzerland caps dating from his career as a midfield player with FC Lausanne-Sport, Neuchâtel Xamax FC, Servette FC and Toulouse FC.

• Founded by the merger of FK Venta and FK Nafta in 1997, Ventspils made a surprise change of coach after they reached the UEFA Champions League play-offs. Italian Nunzio Zavattieri – a former AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano youth coach and one-time assistant at Udinese Calcio – took over from Ukrainian Roman Grygorchuk, who had led them to three consecutive Virsliga titles.

• Hertha visit Sporting Club de Portugal on Matchday 2, while Ventspils are at home against SC Heerenveen on the same night, 1 October.

Last updated: 09/09/09 1.09CET

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