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Genk gear up for Stuttgart decider

Published: Friday 15 February 2013, 4.00CET
A late equaliser at VfB Stuttgart extended KRC Genk's unbeaten run to eight European games this season and set them up for a shot at a UEFA Europa League round of 16 place.
Genk gear up for Stuttgart decider
Genk's Jeroen Simaeys challenges Stuttgart's Raphael Holzhauser ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 15 February 2013, 4.00CET

Genk gear up for Stuttgart decider

A late equaliser at VfB Stuttgart extended KRC Genk's unbeaten run to eight European games this season and set them up for a shot at a UEFA Europa League round of 16 place.

KRC Genk will look to continue VfB Stuttgart's miserable record in springtime European games as they play host to the German side in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 decider.

• Christian Gentner's predatory 42nd-minute strike gave Stuttgart the lead in the first leg but they were denied victory at the death when Glynor Plet headed a 91st-minute equaliser.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time in UEFA club competition last week.

• Genk's record in nine games against German clubs is W2 D3 L4 (W1 D1 L2 at home – W1 D2 L2 in Germany). Their only home win against German opponents came in Brussels – the draw and two defeats were in Genk.

• Stuttgart's record in 16 games against Belgian sides reads W8 D4 L4 (W3 D4 L2 at home – W5 D0 L2 in Belgium). They have not lost in nine fixtures against Belgian clubs since 2000, and have won their last four games on Belgian soil.

Match background
• Genk are unbeaten in ten European home games (W6 D4) since a 3-0 loss to FC Porto in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• Stuttgart have won their last two European away games – a 2-0 victory at FC København followed by a 5-1 triumph at FC Steaua Bucureşti.

• Genk came through the group stage unbeaten as they finished top of Group G. Their current eight-game unbeaten run has eclipsed their previous continental best – a seven-game streak which extended from the 1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup into their 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign.

• Stuttgart qualified by coming second in Group E. They have yet to make it through the round of 32 since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05, having fallen at this stage on four occasions (2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09 and 2010/11).

• Indeed, they have not won a two-legged springtime European tie in eight attempts since losing the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, with their record in those 17 games reading W2 D5 L10.

• Genk are appearing in UEFA club competition in the new year for the first time in their history.

• Coach Mario Been reached the round of 32 with NEC Nijmegen in 2008/09, but his side were no match for Hamburger SV.

Team facts
• Stuttgart midfielder Daniel Didavi turns 23 on the day of the game.

• Genk are strong finishers: five of their ten goals have been scored between the 75th minute and the final whistle, including three in added time.

• Stuttgart have been losing finalists in major UEFA club competitions twice: they lost to SSC Napoli in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup final and Chelsea FC in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

• Stuttgart's Ivorian left-back Arthur Boka's first European club was KSK Beveren (2002–04), who were Genk's domestic rivals before the club merged with KV Red Star Waasland in 2010.

• Stuttgart midfielder Támas Hajnal also played in Belgium for K. Sint-Truidense VV (2004–06), with Genk midfielder Benjamin De Ceulaer among his team-mates in 2004/05, and defender Jeroen Simaeys playing alongside him in 2005/06.

• Genk's coach since August 2011 has been Dutchman Been, most famous for his work as a midfielder – and then coach – with Feyenoord and their satellite club SBV Excelsior. He led NEC through the group stage of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup, but lost out to KAA Gent in the 2010/11 play-offs when he was coaching Feyenoord.

• Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia played up front for some of Germany's top clubs – Hamburger SV, FC Bayern München and SV Werder Bremen among others – and is the only player to have scored more than 100 goals in both of Germany's top divisions. Since starting his coaching career at home-town side SV Darmstadt 98, he has been in charge at Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Hamburg, taking over at Stuttgart in 2010.

Round of 16: Stuttgart/Genk v VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach/S.S. Lazio
• The first legs will be played on 7 March, with the returns the following Thursday.

• Stuttgart could meet Mönchengladbach in an all-German round of 16 tie. They have actually met in Europe before, with Gladbach edging out their Bundesliga rivals 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 1979/80 UEFA Cup. Jupp Heynckes' side were then beaten by another German team – Eintracht Frankfurt – in the two-legged final.

Last updated: 01/05/13 9.18CET