Wigan Athletic FC earned their first European victory on matchday two but stand in the path of the FC Rubin Kazan juggernaut in their next UEFA Europa League Group D fixture.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition and this is Wigan's first encounter with a Russian side.
• Rubin have played four games against English clubs, with their record reading W2 D0 L2 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W0 D0 L2 in England). Their UEFA Europa League campaign was ended by Chelsea FC in the quarter-finals last season, as they were unable to wipe out a 3-1 first-leg deficit, winning 3-2 in Moscow.
• Wigan scored their first continental goals and secured their first European victory on matchday two, beating NK Maribor 3-1 at home. They had kicked off their campaign with a 0-0 draw at SV Zulte Waregem.
• 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 enjoying their first European season – FC Kuban Krasnodar, Estoril Praia and CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu – all cut their teeth in qualifying.
• Rubin are competing in a UEFA group stage for the fifth straight season; they transferred from the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 at the end of the autumn in 2009 and 2010 and then made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage in the last two seasons.
• Rubin won 4-0 at home against Zulte Waregem on matchday two – their biggest win in European club competition. They had matched their biggest margin of victory on the road on matchday one when they triumphed 5-2 at Maribor.
• Since their 3-1 loss at Chelsea last season, Rubin have been on a continental winning streak that now extends to nine games.
• Ominously for Wigan as they look ahead to the sides' meeting in Russia on 7 November, Rubin have not lost a European home game in Kazan in 22 matches (W13 D9) since going down 1-0 to Parma FC in the first round of the 2006/07 UEFA Cup, though they have not been as successful on the occasions their fixtures have been switched to Moscow. They have won their last seven at the Centralniy Stadion without conceding.
• Not usually regarded as a high-scoring side, Rubin go into matchday three as the most prolific scorers in the group stage with nine goals in their first two games.
• Israeli midfielder Bebras Natcho, who scored Rubin's only previous goal in England against Chelsea last season, has set up three goals since the start of the group stage – more than any other player in this season's competition.
• Rubin and PSV Eindhoven are the only sides to have appeared in all five editions of the UEFA Europa League, though only PSV have appeared in all five group stages.
• Wigan are among 11 domestic cup winners in the group stage along with Group D rivals Maribor (Slovenia), 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), SS Lazio (Italy) and Esbjerg fB (Denmark).
• Wigan were relegated from the Premier League last season and are the only second-tier side in the group stage. Another English club, Birmingham City FC – then featuring Wigan's Jean Beausejour – competed in the 2011/12 group stage as a second-tier side.
• Rubin left-back Chris Mavinga was on the books at Liverpool FC from 2009 to 2011 but never made a senior appearance in England.
• 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.
• Now one of the longest serving coaches in Europe, Kurban Berdyev has been in charge of Rubin since 2001, leading the club into the top division for the first time and winning the 2008 and 2009 titles before transforming his team into regular European contenders. Rubin right-back Roman Sharonov said of the famously ascetic Turkmenistan-born coach: "If I thought about football as much as him, I would probably lose my mind."
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