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Debreceni VSC return to group stage action in the UEFA Europa League with a Group I home game against FC Metalist Kharkiv, who caused quite a stir in the 2008/09 edition.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition, and this is also Metalist's first game against a Hungarian club.
• Debrecen's sole experience of Ukrainian opposition comes from a 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round tie against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, when they lost 4-1 away and 2-0 at home.
• Hungarian champions Debrecen are making their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage having lost all six of their games in the UEFA Champions League group phase last season.
• They are the first Hungarian side to feature in the group stage since Ferencvárosi TC in the inaugural UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05.
• Metalist were the unheralded stars of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup, eliminating Beşiktaş JK in the first round, then beating Galatasaray AŞ, Olympiacos FC and SL Benfica in the group stage. They ousted UC Sampdoria in the round of 32, before bowing out to FC Dynamo Kyiv on away goals in the last 16.
• Metalist have lost only one of their last seven European away games, the 1-0 defeat at Dynamo two seasons ago.
• Coach András Herczeg joined Debrecen as a youngster in 1970, and though he spent the latter part of his playing career elsewhere, he returned on retiring in 1988 to coach the club's youth and reserve teams. After winning two titles as assistant to Attila Supka in 2005 and 2006, Herczeg was given sole command in 2007, and has since won two titles and two Hungarian Cups of his own.
• Myron Markevich has been coach of Metalist since summer 2005, briefly combining his job with that of Ukraine coach before stepping down to focus on his club duties in summer 2010. Having retired as a player at 28, he reached new highs after moving to Kharkiv, leading the club to four successive third-placed league finishes from 2006/07 – the best results in their history – as well as European success.
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