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Wisła bid to surmount Standard barrier

Published: Monday 9 January 2012, 8.00CET
Wisła Kraków must find holes in the best defence in the UEFA Europa League group stage while trying to tighten up their own back line when R. Standard de Liège come to Poland.
Wisła bid to surmount Standard barrier
Visitors Standard conceded just one goal in six group-stage outings ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 9 January 2012, 8.00CET

Wisła bid to surmount Standard barrier

Wisła Kraków must find holes in the best defence in the UEFA Europa League group stage while trying to tighten up their own back line when R. Standard de Liège come to Poland.

Wisła Kraków will look to end a wait of almost 33 years for a springtime European victory as they take on miserly R. Standard de Liège in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Wisła's six games against Belgian clubs ended W1 D2 L3 (W1 D1 L1 at home). Their only previous meeting with opposition from Belgium in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League came in the 1976/77 second round against FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek when they drew both ties 1-1 before losing 5-4 on penalties.

• Standard's only prior encounter with Polish opponents brought a 2-1 aggregate defeat by Wisła's traditional rivals Legia Warszawa in the 1970/71 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round. Standard won 1-0 at home but went down 2-0 in Warsaw.

Match background
• Wisła have won five of their six European home games this season, a 3-1 defeat against Odense BK in the group stage the only blemish.

• Wisła are competing in the round of 32 for the first time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05.

• The last time Wisła played European football after Christmas was when they lost to S.S. Lazio in the fourth round of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup. They have not won a springtime match in Europe since the quarter-finals of the 1978/79 European Cup, beating Malmö FF 2-1 at home but then losing 4-1 in Sweden.

• Standard have gone eight matches unbeaten in this term's UEFA Europa League with six wins and two draws, including three victories on the road.

• Standard are through to the round of 32 for the third time in four seasons. They were eliminated by SC Braga at this stage in 2008/09, but overcame FC Salzburg in 2009/10, eventually progressing to the quarter-finals where they succumbed to Hamburger SV.

Team facts
• Standard had the best defensive record in the group stage, conceding just once in six matches.

• By contrast Wisła conceded 13 goals – the worst record of all the sides that made it through.

• Standard have scored 298 goals in UEFA competition; this is their 195th fixture.

• Costa Rican international Júnior Díaz moved from Wisła to Club Brugge KV last season before being loaned back to the Polish side for the current campaign; while in Belgium he played in a 2-2 league draw at Standard.

• David Biton, Wisła's top scorer in the competition with three goals, is on loan from another Belgian club, R. Charleroi SC. Biton and Maor Buzaglo were team-mates at Maccabi Haifa FC in 2005/06.

• Wisła defender Kew Jaliens was in the AZ Alkmaar side denied third place in their 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group by Standard. AZ and Standard drew 1-1 twice, a 95th-minute header from goalkeeper Sinan Bolat rescuing the Belgian side a point in Liege in their final group fixture to cost Jaliens' team qualification.

• Kazmierz Moskal agreed to coach Wisła for the remainder of the campaign when stepping up from his role as assistant to replace Robert Maaskant in November. The former midfielder and defender represented Wisła in two spells as a player and has been on the coaching staff for several years.

• Standard boss José Riga is competing in Europe for the first time. Born in Liege, he previously served as the club's joint-coach alongside Dominique D'Onofrio from 2003 to 2005. Since then, he has been in sole command of RAEC Mons and RCS Visé.

Round of 16
• The winners will take on the victors of the tie between Hannover 96 and Standard's Belgian league rivals Club Brugge in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Wisła have never met Hannover, but took on Club Brugge in the 1978/79 European Cup first round, losing 2-1 away but progressing with a 3-1 home win.

• Standard and Club Brugge are yet to meet in Europe, but Standard took on Hannover in this season's group stage, drawing 0-0 in Germany and prevailing 2-0 at home.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:

Last updated: 14/02/12 16.02CETła+await+standard