|I||Sparta Praha||H. Kiryat Shmona|
SK Rapid Wien will look to improve their troubling home record in group stage games and reach a European goalscoring milestone as Bayer 04 Leverkusen visit in UEFA Europa League Group K.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Rapid's 17 games against German clubs ended W7 D1 L9 (W7 D1 L1 at home – W0 D0 L8 in Germany). Those matches include a 1-0 win against FC Wismut Aue in the 1960/61 European Champion Clubs' Cup, in a replay staged in Basel, Switzerland.
• To date, FC Bayern München – in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage – are the only German side to have beaten Rapid in Vienna.
• Leverkusen's three games against Austrian sides ended W1 D2 L0 (W1 D0 L0 at home – W0 D2 L0 in Austria). They beat Rapid's neighbours FK Austria Wien 5-1 at home after a 0-0 draw in Vienna in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup first round.
• Rapid have lost five of their last six UEFA group stage home fixtures since a 3-0 defeat of Hamburger SV in their opening game of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League. A 2-1 loss to Rosenborg BK on matchday one was their fourth successive home defeat in group games.
• Leverkusen have scored once in each of their last four European away games, but the only winner was in their matchday two encounter with Rosenborg. That run also included a 1-1 draw with KRC Genk, a 3-1 loss at Valencia CF and a 7-1 mauling by FC Barcelona in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• Rapid are within two goals of their 350th in UEFA club competition – this is their 226th European game.
• Rapid defender Brian Behrendt celebrates his 21st birthday on the eve of the fixture.
• Rapid midfielder Steffen Hofmann played in Germany with Bayern (2000-02) and TSV 1860 München (2005-06), and the club's United States forward Terrence Boyd also spent time in the reserve teams at Hertha BSC Berlin and Borussia Dortmund before coming to Austria this summer.
• Rapid coach Peter Schöttel served the club as a defender from 1986-2002, winning three titles and two Austrian Cups as well as earning a place in the capital outfit's Team of the Century in 1999. After retiring, the one-time team captain coached the club's amateur side and then managed SC Wiener Neustadt before returning to take charge of Rapid in 2011.
• Team manager Sami Hyypiä leads Leverkusen in collaboration with coach Sascha Lewandowski. Former Finland defender Hyypiä won the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League during a ten-year spell at Liverpool FC, moving on to Leverkusen in 2009. After retiring in 2011, Hyypiä took up coaching roles with Leverkusen and Finland, and stepped in – initially on a caretaker basis – after the Werkself sacked Robin Dutt in April 2012.
• This is FARE Action Week, with UEFA giving its support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign. There are activities before each UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums and millions on television. A 30-second RESPECT TV spot and announcements over stadium loudspeakers will encourage fans to join the UEFA family in its call to unite against racism in football. Every team will be accompanied on to the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts and captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism armband.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.