SC Freiburg's Czech players are in for an interesting night as FC Slovan Liberec head to Germany in UEFA Europa League Group H in search of a first win against Bundesliga opposition.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Freiburg's only previous experience of Czech opposition was a 1995/96 UEFA Cup first round game which they lost 2-1 on aggregate to SK Slavia Praha, going down 2-1 at home before a goalless draw in Prague.
• Liberec's record in six previous games against German opponents is an unedifying W0 D2 L4; they have lost on all three of their previous visits to Germany, scoring two goals and conceding eight.
• Freiburg are making their first appearance in a UEFA competition group stage. Indeed, this is their first appearance in Europe since they reached the third round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup, losing to eventual winners Feyenoord.
• Freiburg have won only one of their four European home games to date, 2-1 against FK Púchov in the first round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup; of the other three, they drew one and lost two, including that Slavia defeat.
• Liberec failed to make it through to the round of 32 in their only previous group stage appearance in 2006/07. Their two away games in that competition ended in a 2-2 draw and a 4-0 defeat.
• Liberec are unbeaten in their last five European games – four wins and a draw – and defeated Udinese Calcio in the play-offs to reach the group stage. They have won their last two away games.
• Having left Czech champions FC Viktoria Plzeň for Freiburg in the summer, Vladimír Darida faces a quick reunion with familiar opponents in his first European game for his new club.
• The 23-year-old midfielder has bad memories of past meetings with Jaroslav Šilhavý's side; a 0-0 draw against Liberec on the last day of the 2011/12 season meant Slovan claimed the title at Plzeň's expense, while their 2012/13 title celebrations were delayed following a 2-1 loss to Liberec in their penultimate game of the campaign.
• Freiburg's Czech defender Pavel Krmaš and his Liberec counterpart Radoslav Kovác were briefly team-mates at AC Sparta Praha at the start of 2003/04.
• Freiburg boast a third Czech talent in the form of midfielder Václav Pilař, who joined from VfL Wolfsburg in the summer.
• Last season, Freiburg forward Admir Mehmedi and Liberec's Ukrainian duo of Vladyslav Kalitvintsev and Serhiy Rybalka were team-mates at FC Dynamo Kyiv.
• A qualified teacher, coach Christian Streich played for Freiburg and their neighbours Freiburger FC as a midfielder, making a brief cameo appearance in the Bundesliga with FC Homburg 08 before moving into coaching. He took charge of Freiburg's youth team in 1995, later combining that role with work as the club's assistant coach before being given sole command in December 2011. He famously cycles to all of Freiburg's home games.
• Hired in June 2011, Jaroslav Šilhavý led Liberec to the Czech title in his first season at the club; it was his first major title, with the coach having gained experience on the national team staff, and by taking charge of SK Kladno, hometown club Viktoria Plzeň and Dynamo České Budějovice. As a defender, he played a Czech record 465 league games for Plzeň, RH Cheb, Slavia Praha, Petra Drnovice and FK Viktoria Žižkov.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.