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Semi-finalists last season, Liverpool FC kick off their UEFA Europa League Group K campaign at home against FC Steaua Bucureşti, a side captain Steven Gerrard may remember having met before.
• The clubs met in the second round of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup, with Gérard Houllier's Reds progressing after a Harry Kewell goal gave them a 1-0 win at Anfield, following a 1-1 draw against Victor Piţurcă's men in Bucharest.
• The teams for that first-leg meeting on 27 November 2003 were:
Liverpool: Kirkland, Traore, Hyypiä, Bišćan, Diao, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Sinama Pongolle (Šmicer, 70), Diouf (Heskey, 70), Owen (Murphy, 88).
Steaua: Khomutovski, Dumitru, Răchita, Rădoi, Stoica, Aliuţă (Paraschiv, 59), Bostina, Răducanu, Nana Falemi (Pitu, 81), Opriţa (Diniţă, 81), Mutica.
• Liverpool skipper Gerrard is the only player still at either club who played in that fixture.
• Liverpool's record in 11 games against Romanian clubs reads W8 D2 L1 (W3 D1 L0 at home).
• Steaua's 12 ties against English sides have ended W4 D3 L5 (W0 D2 L4 away).
• Liverpool have won their last five games in European competition since a 1-0 loss to Club Atlético de Madrid in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
• They have won their last six European games at Anfield since losing 2-1 to ACF Fiorentina in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
• The Reds are unbeaten in ten UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League home ties since losing 2-0 to Celtic FC in a quarter-final second leg on 20 March 2003.
• Steaua are without a win on their European travels in four fixtures since beating Saint Patrick's Athletic FC 2-1 in last season's UEFA Europa League play-off second leg.
• Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson joined the club from Fulham FC in the summer after leading the Cottagers to defeat in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League final. Having lost the 1996/97 decider as FC Internazionale Milano coach, he is one of three bosses to have lost two finals in this competition, along with Ernst Happel (1976 and 1982) and Georg Kessler (1981 and 1986).
• A schoolteacher and semi-professional defender, Hodgson won four Swedish titles – with Halmstads BK and Malmö FF – and a Danish crown with FC København as a coach. Switzerland, Inter, Blackburn Rovers FC, Udinese Calcio, the United Arab Emirates, Viking FK and Finland are among his many and varied employers.
• Hired in August, Steaua coach Ilie Dumitrescu started and finished his playing career as a winger with the club, representing the likes of Tottenham Hotspur FC, Sevilla FC and West Ham United FC in-between. As a coach, he has enjoyed short spells with a host of sides in Romania, Cyprus and Greece.
• The two coaches met in the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals in the United States, with Hodgson's Switzerland beating a Romania side featuring Dumitrescu in the starting lineup 4-1 in the group stage at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit.
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