FC Anji Makhachkala will look to end a worrying barren run in front of goal as they take on Tromsø IL in UEFA Europa League Group K.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time. It is Anji's first meeting with a Norwegian club and Tromsø's first competitive engagement with Russian opposition.
• Russian sides have had the better of the 19 UEFA club competition encounters between clubs representing the two nations, with the record W13 D2 L4.
• The Russian clubs have won the last seven encounters with Norwegian sides, and all nine games between Russian and Norwegian sides in Russia have ended in home wins.
• There has already been a Russia v Norway encounter in this season's UEFA Europa League, with FC Rubin Kazan defeating Molde FK 5-0 on aggregate in the play-offs.
• Anji's 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur FC on matchday two was their most substantial European home defeat to date, and indeed their first in Russia, with their only previous home reverse a 1-0 2001/02 UEFA Cup first round against Rangers FC played in Warsaw because of the unstable political situation in the North Caucasus.
• Anji have now gone four games without scoring a European goal, and five games (D3 L2) without a continental victory.
• Anji made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage at the first attempt under Guus Hiddink last season, losing out to Newcastle in the round of 16.
• Tromsø have lost their last four European away games without scoring.
• Tromsø reached the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage, but finished bottom of their section with a win and three defeats.
• Tromsø lost 3-2 on aggregate to Beşiktaş JK in the play-offs but were handed a group stage place after the Istanbul side were excluded from the competition.
• Tromsø managed only one shot on target in the first two UEFA Europa League matchdays – fortunately it was enough to get them a goal and a point – in a 1-1 draw against FC Sheriff on matchday two.
• Anji are one of four sides yet to score in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, along with Legia Warszawa, APOEL FC and SV Zulte Waregem
• Tromsø are the only side in the group stage to have made it through all the way from the first qualifying round.
• Based inside the Arctic Circle, Tromsø are the most northerly side in the group stage – 4,299km separates them from the southernmost representatives, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.
• Around 3,400km separates Tromsø and Anji's home cities, though the Norwegian club have a less daunting trip to take on their Russian opponents, with Anji playing their European home games in Ramenskoye – a mere 1,800km away.
• Anji boast a Norwegian international in 18-times-capped centre-back Vadim Demidov; born in Riga, Latvia, he moved to Norway with his father, handball star Sergei Demidov, and played for Sandefjord Fotball, Hønefoss BK and Rosenborg BK before heading abroad.
• A major footballing figure in his native Dagestan, Gadzhi Gadzhiev returned for a fourth spell as Anji coach in the summer of 2013 with the club adopting a new approach following the departure of Dutchman Guus Hiddink. A player for FC Spartak Leningrad, he has coached in Azerbaijan and Japan, and worked as assistant to Anatoliy Byshovets during his spells in charge of the USSR/CIS and Russia, embarking on the first of his adventures with Anji in 1999.
• Tromsø dismissed coach Agnar Christensen ahead of matchday two after a 3-2 league defeat at home against IK Start left them in relegation danger in Norway.
• Steinar Nilsen has taken temporary command at Tromsø after serving as Christensen's assistant. Born in the city, the twice-capped 41-year-old defender served Tromsø in two spells as a player, either side of five years in Italy with AC Milan and SSC Napoli. This is his third spell as the club's coach – he notably led them into the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage in his first period in charge.
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