|B||Dinamo Zagreb||Chornomorets Odesa|
Valencia CF have a tough task in their opening UEFA Europa League Group A game as Swansea City AFC bring coach Michael Laudrup, Mestalla old boy Pablo Hernández and a host of other former Liga stars back to Spain.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition and this is Swansea's first official game against Spanish opposition.
• Valencia's record in 33 games against English league sides is W10 D15 L8 (W8 D5 L3 at home – W2 D9 L5 away). Those results include a 0-0 draw with Arsenal FC in the 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final, Valencia prevailing 5-4 on penalties.
• Swansea are based in Wales but qualified for the UEFA Europa League as winners of the English League Cup; the eight previous games between Welsh and Spanish clubs in UEFA club competition have ended W4 D3 L1 in the Spanish sides' favour. That lone Welsh victory was a 1-0 victory for Swansea's local rivals Cardiff City FC against Real Madrid CF in the first leg of the 1970/71 Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals; the Bluebirds lost the return 2-0.
• Valencia are without a European victory in 2013, having lost 3-2 on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain FC in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, losing 2-1 at Mestalla before drawing 1-1 in Paris.
• Valencia are without a win in their last two European home fixtures, a 1-1 draw with FC Bayern München preceding the PSG defeat.
• Prior to this season, Swansea had not played in Europe since the 1991/92 Cup Winners' Cup, when they were beaten 10-1 on aggregate by AS Monaco FC in the first round. Back then they qualified as Welsh Cup holders.
• The Swans are without a European away win in six attempts, qualifying included, drawing one and losing five since they beat Malta's Sliema Wanderers FC 5-0 in the first round of the 1982/83 Cup Winners' Cup.
• Swansea winger Pablo Hernández is returning to the club he left in summer 2012; born in nearby Castellon de la Plana, he spent much of his career with Valencia, scoring 15 goals in 112 top-flight appearances before moving to Swansea for what was reported as a club record fee.
• Swansea defender Chico played alongside Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves and forward Pablo Piatti at UD Almería (2008-10).
• Valencia defender Víctor Ruiz was a team-mate of Swansea's Jordi Amat (2009-10) and forward Álvaro Vázquez (2010) during his time at RCD Espanyol.
• Valencia midfielder Javi Fuego is up against two former Rayo Vallecano de Madrid colleagues: Swansea striker Michu (2011-12) and Jordi Amat (2012-13).
• Valencia's Colombian forward Dorlan Pabón rubbed shoulders with Swansea's Alejandro Pozuelo and José Cañas during a loan spell at Real Betis Balompié in spring 2013.
• Other Swansea players with substantial Spanish experience include Jonathan De Guzman (RCD Mallorca and Villarreal CF), Roland Lamah (RCD Mallorca) and right-back Ángel Rangel, a Swans player since 2007 who featured in Spain's lower leagues and was born a couple of hours' drive up the coast from Valencia in Sant Carles de la Rapita. He was signed by another Spaniard, former Swansea midfielder and coach Roberto Martínez, now in charge of Everton FC.
• Current Valencia players who have featured in the league in England include Antonio Barragán (Liverpool FC), Oriol Romeu (Chelsea FC), Daniel Parejo (Queens Park Rangers FC) and Hélder Postiga (Tottenham Hotspur FC).
• Serbian coach Miroslav Djukić returned in June 2013 to the club he served as a sweeper from 1997-2003; two UEFA Champions League finals and the 2001/02 title with Valencia represented the pinnacles of his long playing career in Spain. As a coach, he led FK Partizan and Serbia as well as Belgium's R. Excelsior Mouscron before returning to Spain to take charge of Hércules CF and then Real Valladolid CF.
• Michael Laudrup's first season in south Wales ended with Swansea winning the first major English trophy in their history – the 2012/13 League Cup. The playmaker's career haul included the 1991/92 European Champions' Club Cup with Barcelona and seven league titles: one apiece with Juventus, Real Madrid CF and Ajax, and four with Barça. As a coach, he won a Danish title with Brøndby IF and took unfashionable Getafe CF to the 2007/08 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
• Djukić famously missed a penalty for RC Deportivo La Coruña in the last minute of their last game of the 1993/94 season against Valencia, handing the title to a Barcelona side that included Laudrup.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.