|I||Athletic||H. Kiryat Shmona|
Levante UD make their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage in Group L against Helsingborgs IF, hoping to maintain Spanish clubs' good run against Swedish opponents.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in Europe. It is Levante's first experience of Swedish opposition and Helsingborg's first UEFA game against a team from Spain.
• The 25 past UEFA club competition ties between teams from the two countries have finished largely in the Spanish team's favour. Spanish clubs' record against their Swedish counterparts reads W18 D4 L3 (W12 D2 L0 at home – W6 D2 L3 in Sweden). Those home results include the away leg of FC Barcelona's 1974/75 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final against Åtvidabergs FF, which was also played at the Camp Nou.
• The Spanish side have won the last nine meetings between Spanish and Swedish clubs since AIK Solna held Barcelona to a 1-1 home draw in a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup game on 20 March 1997. There have been 12 meetings since the last Swedish win: IFK Göteborg's 2-1 success against Barça in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 28 September 1994.
• Two Swedish sides have visited Levante's home city in UEFA competition to take on Valencia CF: IFK drew 2-2 at Mestalla in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals on 3 March 1982, while AIK lost 1-0 to Levante's local rivals in a UEFA Cup first round game on 15 October 2003.
• Levante are making their debut in UEFA club competition this season, having earned a play-off place in the UEFA Europa League with a sixth-placed finish in the 2011/12 Liga campaign.
• Having beaten Motherwell FC 2-0 away and 1-0 at home in the play-offs, Levante have a 100% record in UEFA competitions, and have yet to concede a goal on the continental stage.
• Champions of Sweden in 2012, Helsingborg are back in this group stage for a second time, having reached the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 32 before losing out to PSV Eindhoven.
• Helsingborg have won only one of their last six European away games – 3-0 at WKS Śląsk Wrocław in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
• With AIK also having qualified, this is the first time that more than one Swedish side has competed in the group stage of a UEFA competition in the same season.
• Levante midfielder Papa Diop and Helsingborg left-back Erik Edman were briefly team-mates at Stade Rennais FC in 2006.
• This is Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez's first campaign in UEFA club competition. As a right-back, he never rose higher than the fourth tier in Spanish football, and coached in youth and women's football, working his way up the senior men's leagues to take charge of Levante in June 2011. He is often known by his initials, JIM, in Spain.
• Back for a second spell as Helsingborg coach, Åge Hareide represented Molde FK, Manchester City FC and Norwich City FC as a defender, and was capped 50 times by Norway. As a coach, he won domestic titles in Sweden (Helsingborg 1999), Denmark (Brøndby IF 2001/02) and Norway (Rosenborg BK 2003) before leading Norway (2003–08), and resumed command at Helsingborg in June, following stints with Örgryte IS and Viking FK.
• In Hareide's only previous fixtures against Spanish opponents, RC Deportivo La Coruña edged out his Rosenborg side 1-0 on aggregate in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
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