ACF Fiorentina are bidding to make it three wins from three in UEFA Europa League Group E when they take on CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu.
• The two teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, in what is Pandurii's first encounter with Italian opponents.
• Fiorentina's eight games against Romanian sides have ended W3 D3 L2 (W2 D2 L0 at home – W1 D1 L2 in Romania). They are unbeaten in their last five encounters with Liga I opposition (W3 D2) since a 3-1 loss at FC Universitatea Craiova in the second leg of a UEFA Cup first round game on 15 September 1982.
• Only once in 23 visits has a Romanian club won a UEFA club competition game in Italy, with CFR 1907 Cluj beating AS Roma 2-1 in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage. The record of Romanian clubs on Italian soil reads W1 D7 L15.
• Having overcome Paços Ferreira 3-0 on matchday one, Fiorentina have won five of their last six European home games, the sole aberration being a 1-0 loss to Grasshopper Club in this season's play-offs. On matchday two, the Viola triumphed 2-1 at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
• This is Fiorentina's first appearance in the group stage since they reached the semi-finals of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, though they subsequently appeared in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2008/09 and 2009/10.
• A 1-1 draw at Paços on matchday two means Pandurii are yet to be beaten in four continental away games (W2 D2).
• Pandurii are one of four teams in the UEFA Europa League group stage who are making their European debuts this season alongside Wigan Athletic FC (ENG), FC Kuban Krasnodar (RUS) and Estoril Praia (POR).
• Aged 36 years and 127 days, Fiorentina's Massimo Ambrosini became the competition's fourth oldest goalscorer with his winning strike at Dnipro. The record is held by Czech midfielder Pavel Horváth, at 37 years and 214 days.
• Ambrosini has made more UEFA club competition appearances than any other outfield player in this season's group stage, 110 in total. Only FC Dynamo Kyiv goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (122) can top that.
• Fiorentina have yet to lose a European home game to a side from the east – the only teams who have beaten them at the Stadio Artemio Franchi hail from further west than Florence: 1. FC Köln, FC Schalke 04, SL Benfica, FC Barcelona, Grasshoppers, LOSC Lille, Olympique Lyonnais and AFC Ajax.
• Fiorentina coach since June 2012, Vincenzo Montella is still best remembered as a striker for AS Roma, where he was known as L'Aeroplanino (The Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebration. He won the 2000/01 Serie A title and two Coppa Italias with Roma before moving on to coach their youth team. After coaching Roma and Calcio Catania, he led Fiorentina to a fourth-place finish in his first season in charge.
• A prolific striker with CS Gaz Metan Mediaş and FC Unirea Alba Iulia, Pandurii coach Cristian Pustai never got to play in Romania's top division, but made up for that as a coach. He won promotion to the Liga with Gaz Metan, then took his old side into Europe for the first time, reaching the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs. Hired by Pandurii in January 2013, he helped the club secure a best ever finish of second in the league last season.
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