Vitória SC will hope that recent form in games between Portuguese and Croatian clubs augurs well as they prepare to meet HNK Rijeka in their first UEFA Europa League Group I game.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition. This is also Guimarães's first encounter with Croatian opposition and Rijeka's first game against a Portuguese side.
• Portuguese and Croatian clubs have met in 15 previous UEFA club competitition games with the Portuguese sides having the better of them with the record W8 D2 L5 (W7 D0 L1 at home). The three most recent games between clubs from the two countries have been won by the Portuguese side without conceding.
• Guimarães picked up just one point from four games in their only previous group stage campaign, in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup.
• This is Guimarães's first game in Europe since a 4-0 home defeat concluded their 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-off defeat to Club Atlético de Madrid, the side that went on to win the competition. They were also beaten by eventual winners Sevilla FC in the 2005/06 group stage.
• Rijeka made it to their first ever UEFA group stage campaign with an unexpected aggregate victory against VfB Stuttgart in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• The Croatian side have made impressive progress since entering this season's competition in the second qualifying round, with a record of W4 D2 in their six fixtures. They have averaged two goals in their three away games.
• Along with domestic double winners Legia Warszawa (POL) and NK Maribor (SVN), Guimarães are one of 11 cup winners in the group stage, with the others being Wigan Athletic FC (England, FA Cup), Swansea City AFC (England, League Cup), AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands), FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France), Apollon Limassol FC (Cyprus), KRC Genk (Belgium), S.S. Lazio (Italy) and Esbjerg fB (Denmark).
• Rijeka's Nikola Pokrivač and Guimarães's Moussa Maazou and Chris Malonga are all former AS Monaco FC players, though their paths did not cross in France.
• Guimarães have benefited from coach Rui Vitória's ability to nurture young talent since his appointment at the start of 2011/12; the coach led the club to their first major trophy when they beat SL Benfica 2-1 in the 2013 Portuguese Cup final. A lower-league midfielder, he coached Benfica's youth team after hanging up his boots, joining Guimarães following a positive season in charge of FC Paços de Ferreira.
• Hired in February 2013, Slovenian coach Matjaž Kek led Rijeka to a third-placed finish at the end of that season and into Europe. Famous for taking Slovenia to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, Kek started and ended his playing career as a defender at NK Maribor – where his father played, and now his son – either side of a long spell in Austria. He returned home to Maribor for his first coaching roles, and more recently had a spell in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad.