|B||Dinamo Zagreb||Chornomorets Odesa|
PAOK FC are back for their fourth group stage campaign, and have an unusual task as they welcome debutants FC Shakhter Karagandy in UEFA Europa League Group L.
• This is the sides' first UEFA competition meeting. It is also PAOK's first meeting with a club from Kazakhstan and Shakhter's first encounter with Greek opponents.
• The only previous men's club competition encounter between Greek and Kazakh clubs came in the 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round when FC Tobol Kostanay won 1-0 home and away against OFI Crete FC.
• PAOK replaced FC Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Champions League play-offs after the Ukrainian side, who had beaten PAOK in the third qualifying round, were excluded from Europe. They lost 4-3 on aggregate to FC Schalke 04 but moved into the UEFA Europa League for what will be their fourth group stage campaign; they failed to progress in 2005/06 but made it to the round of 32 in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
• PAOK have lost both of their European home games this season, but are unbeaten at home in seven group stage games (W4 D3) though they have averaged just a goal a game at the Stadio Toumba in their last two campaigns.
• Shakhter came within 90 minutes of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage only to let slip a 2-0 first-leg advantage in the play-offs at Celtic FC. They nonetheless received the substantial consolation prize of a first UEFA Europa League group stage campaign.
• Shakhter have conceded three goals in each of their last two European away games, and their overall record in on the road since they made their continental debut in the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup is W2 D1 L6.
• Shakhter are the first Kazakh side to reach a UEFA club competition group stage, and the most easterly club to have reached this level. Their journey to Salonika is just under 4,000km, though PAOK will only need to go 3,850km on the return trip since their opponents play their European home games in Astana.
• The distance between Shakhter's home town and that of the most westerly group stage contenders, Estoril Praia, is 6,358km – just over one sixth of the circumference of the Earth.
• PAOK midfielder Kostas Katsouranis scored his first international goal for Greece in a 3-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against Kazakhstan on 17 November 2004.
• PAOK attacker Dimitris Salpingidis has made 61 UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League appearances so far; six more in the group stage would leave the 32-year-old level with Walid Badier in fourth place in the all-time standings.
• PAOK coach since June 2013, Huub Stevens won the UEFA Cup as a player with PSV Eindhoven in 1977/78 and as FC Schalke 04 coach in 1996/97. A defender, he spent his best years as a player with PSV, who he later coached. Schalke fans named him as their coach of the century in 1999, and he also coached 1. FC Koln, Hamburger SV and FC Salzburg before embarking on a second, less successful stint with Schalke in 2011.
• A Kazakh title winner in his first two seasons with Shakhter, 2011 and 2012, Russian-born Viktor Kumykov had his career as a goalkeeper cut short by injury when he was 24. He turned to coaching and led home-town club PFC Spartak Nalchik in Russia before embarking on a series of roles in Kazakhstan and then Uzbekistan. Visiting museums is one of his favourite pastimes.
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