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AEK Athens FC are fast running out of time in UEFA Europa League Group L and need a win against FC Lokomotiv Moskva if they are to stand a chance of reaching the round of 32.
• Captain Dmitri Sychev (47, 71) put Lokomotiv in front in Moscow when the sides met last time out, and while substitute Dimitris Sialmas (89) struck back for AEK, Felipe Caicedo (90+3) restored the Railway Boys' two-goal lead.
• The two teams previously met in the quarter-finals of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, with Igor Chugainov's late goal in the second leg putting Yuri Semin's Lokomotiv through to the last four against Dumitru Dumitriu's AEK.
• The teams for the first leg, a 0-0 draw at Athens' Nikos Goumas Stadium on 5 March 1998, were:
AEK: Atmatzidis, Machairidis (Dobos 67), Kasapis, Maladenis, Savevski, Nikolaidis, Kopitsis (Sebwe 61), Karayannis, Veridiano, Grétarsson, Manolas.
Lokomotiv: Nigmatullin, Solomatin, Drozdov, Arifullin, Chugainov, Gurenko, Cherevchenko, Borodyuk (Smirnov 69), Garas (Maminov 46), Loskov (Janashia 46), Kosolapov.
• AEK's Anton Dobos (75) and Vaios Karayannis (89) were both sent off.
• Of the players involved in that fixture, midfielder Loskov – at 37 – is still playing for Lokomotiv, while AEK midfielder Arnar Grétarsson is now the club's technical director. Stelios Manolas is the uncle of current AEK defender Kostas Manolas.
• AEK coach Nikos Kostenoglou featured in the second leg in Moscow.
• Lokomotiv lost out to eventual runners-up VfB Stuttgart in the semis.
• In addition to those contests with AEK, Lokomotiv lost a 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage tie 2-0 at Panathinaikos FC, meaning their record in four games against Greek sides is W2 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at home).
• The matchday four meeting will be played at the OACA Spiros Louis Stadium, where Lokomotiv lost on their last visit to Greece – that aforementioned match against Panathinaikos.
• AEK's 12 games against Russian teams ended W2 D3 L7 (W2 D1 L2 at home). They have not won in their last three home games against Russian opponents.
• AEK's record in 11 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League home games is W2 D3 L6. In both of their most recent group stage campaigns they totted up a win, a draw and a defeat at home.
• Lokomotiv's five previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage away games ended W2 D2 L1.
• Four clubs have yet to pick up a point in the group stage: AEK, Shamrock Rovers FC, Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC and Malmö FF.
• RSC Anderlecht's Matías Suárez is the group stage's top scorer with five goals. FC Vaslui's Wesley, SC Braga's Hélder Barbosa, Lokomotiv's Dmitri Sychev and Fulham FC's Andrew Johnson are his closest rivals with three each.
• Lokomotiv coach José Couceiro was in caretaker charge at Sporting Clube de Portugal for the latter part of the 2010/11 season before replacing Yuri Krasnozhan as Lokomotiv boss in July. Since coaching Portugal's Under-21s from 2006 to 2007, he has been in charge at FBK Kaunas, Lithuania and Gaziantepspor.
• AEK parted company with Spanish coach Manuel Jiménez by mutual consent in early October. Kostenoglou – who made over 220 league appearances for AEK between 1994 and 2005 – has been named as his replacement.
• The 41-year-old started his coaching career in the club's youth system before assisting Lorenzo Serra Ferrer and, when the Spaniard was dismissed, taking over as caretaker until the end of 2007/08. He was most recently in charge of Larissa FC (2011), following a spell with Asteras Tripolis FC (2008-09).
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