Wigan Athletic FC will hope that their first home game in UEFA club competition coincides with their first UEFA Europa League Group D victory as NK Maribor head back to England.
• The two teams are meeting for the first time – no surprise given that this is only Wigan's second game in UEFA club competition.
• Maribor's record in four games against English sides is W0 D1 L3 (W0 D1 L1 at home – W0 D0 L2 in England). Like Maribor's first English opponents in the 2011/12 group stage, Birmingham City FC, Wigan are competing in Europe despite being relegated from the Premier League at the end of the previous season; Wigan won the 2012/13 FA Cup, Birmingham won the 2010/11 League Cup.
• As yet, no Slovenian club has overcome an English counterpart in seven UEFA club competition meetings (D2 L5).
• Wigan were the only side entering the competition on matchday one this season with absolutely no previous experience of European football; the other three group stage contenders who are in their first European season – FC Kuban Krasnodar, Estoril Praia and CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu – all cut their teeth in qualifying.
• A 0-0 draw at SV Zulte Waregem on matchday one means that the Latics have yet to win or lose a European game.
• Maribor have reached the group stage of a major UEFA competition for the fourth time but have yet to make it through to the knockout rounds. They failed to record a victory when they made their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in 2011/12, but improved on that with a four-point haul last season.
• Maribor's 5-2 defeat to FC Rubin Kazan on matchday one matched the margin of their worst ever UEFA Europa League home defeat – a 4-1 loss to SS Lazio in the 2012/13 group stage.
• Maribor have now not won in five European games. They made it through this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on away goals following two draws against APOEL FC, before losing home and away to FC Viktoria Plzeň in the play-offs.
• Maribor midfielder Željko Filipovič turns 25 on the day of the match; he turned 24 the day before appearing in a UEFA Europa League game last season, which Maribor lost 1-0 at Lazio.
• Wigan's Chilean midfielder Jean Beausejour faced Maribor twice in the 2011/12 group stage with Birmingham.
• Domestic double winners Maribor and Wigan are among 11 domestic cup winners in the group stage along with Vitória SC (Portugal), Legia Warszawa (Poland), Swansea City AFC (Wales, English League Cup), AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands), FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France), Apollon Limassol FC (Cyprus), KRC Genk (Belgium), Lazio (Italy) and Esbjerg fB (Denmark).
• Owen Coyle took over at Wigan after Roberto Martínez left the relegated club for Everton in July 2013. Capped once by the Republic of Ireland at senior level, he spent most of his playing career in his native Scotland but enjoyed success south of the border as a coach with second-flight sides Burnley FC and Bolton Wanderers FC, having previously helped the latter win promotion to the Premier League as a player in 1994/95.
• Maribor dismissed their Croatian coach Ante Čačić on Sunday after just four months in charge, having secured just one win in their last six games. "We had to respond to a bad run of results," read a club statement. Čačić and AZ Alkmaar's Gertjan Verbeek were dismissed on the same day, making them the first coaching casualties of the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Maribor have hired Ante Šimundža as their new coach, with the 42-year-old leaving NK Aluminij to return to the club he played over 200 games for as a striker. Capped three times by Slovenia, he played abroad with BSC Young Boys, Malmö FF and RAA Louvièroise, returning to Maribor as assistant to Darko Milanič. He subsequently took sole command of ND Mura 05, Austrian side Grazer AK and then Aluminij.
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