FC Salzburg return to the UEFA Europa League group stage after a one-season absence, kicking off against an IF Elfsborg side who have some harsh memories of their last group stage campaign.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition and, moreover, have never met a club from their opponents' country.
• This will be the 18th game between men's clubs from Austria and Sweden in UEFA competition; Austrian sides have had marginally the better of the previous 17, with the record W8 D3 L6.
• The two Swedish clubs to visit Austria since the turn of the millennium went away empty handed: Örgyte IS lost 3-0 at SK Rapid Wien in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup, and FK Austria Wien beat Malmö FF in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League.
• Salzburg are unbeaten in three European home games (W2 D1) and are yet to concede in this season's UEFA Europa League, beating Lithuania's VMFD Žalgiris 7-0 in the play-offs after being ousted by Fenerbahçe SK in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
• Salzburg competed in the 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stages, making it through to the round of 32 – but no further – in 2009/10 and 2011/12.
• Elfsborg are unbeaten in three European games, and have won two of their three fixtures on the road this season, beating FC Daugava Daugavpils 4-0 and FC Nordsjælland 1-0 either side of a 1-0 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round loss at Celtic FC.
• Elfsborg picked up just one point in their only previous group stage tilt – in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, and also Group C: they drew their opener 1-1 at home against AEK Athens FC then lost to ACF Fiorentina (6-1), FK Mladá Boleslav (1-3) and Villarreal CF (2-0), finishing bottom of their section.
• Elfsborg are one of nine domestic champions in the UEFA Europa League group stage along with NK Maribor (SVN), FC Sheriff (MDA), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL), Legia Warszawa (POL), FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ), APOEL FC (CYP) and GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO).
• Salzburg boast Swedish talent in the form of goalkeeper Eddie Gustafsson; the United States-born custodian started his career with IFK Stockholm and IFK Nörrkoping, and has been capped ten times by Sweden.
• Salzburg coach Roger Schmidt took charge of the club in June 2012. A midfielder in the lower leagues in his native Germany, he combined football with work as an apprentice toolmaker before studying mechanical engineering. He moved into coaching with Delbrücker SC and SC Preussen Münster, before a fifth-place finish in the 2. Bundesliga with SC Paderborn 07 in 2011/12 helped persuade Salzburg to hire him.
• Jörgen Lennartsson had been coaching, specialising in youth development, for over two decades when he took charge of Elfsborg in 2011. His reputation in Sweden soared when his attack-minded side did the hosts proud at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, reaching the semi-finals. He eclipsed that achievement by taking Elfsborg to the Swedish title in 2012.