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Rijeka eager to tear into Lyon

Published: Friday 25 October 2013, 8.05CET
HNK Rijeka are bidding to maintain their unbeaten run at home in this season's UEFA Europa League as they take on Group I leaders Olympique Lyonnais at the Kantrida Stadium.
Rijeka eager to tear into Lyon
Kantrida Stadium, the home of Rijeka ©AFP

Tournament statistics


Goals scored2
Possession (%)40
Total attempts46
on target13
off target27
against woodwork1
Yellow cards12
Red Cards0
Fouls committed94
Fouls suffered50

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)


Last updated: 20/06/2014 00:29 CET


P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Friday 25 October 2013, 8.05CET

Rijeka eager to tear into Lyon

HNK Rijeka are bidding to maintain their unbeaten run at home in this season's UEFA Europa League as they take on Group I leaders Olympique Lyonnais at the Kantrida Stadium.

HNK Rijeka's UEFA Europa League dreams hang by a thread as they prepare for a rematch with unbeaten Olympique Lyonnais in Croatia in Group I.

Previous meetings
• Rijeka had scored 14 goals without reply in their previous two domestic fixtures going into matchday three, but could find no response in their first game against a French side after Clément Grenier put Lyon ahead on 65 minutes.

• Lyon's only previous games against Croatian opposition were a pair of 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage meetings with GNK Dinamo Zagreb; they beat the Modri 2-0 at home and then recorded their biggest ever away win (7-1) in the return fixture despite trailing after 40 minutes in Zagreb.

• Croatian clubs are without a victory in their last 12 games against French counterparts in UEFA competition (D3 L9), since NK Slaven Koprivnica recorded a pair of 1-0 wins against SC Bastia in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Match background
• Rijeka sealed a first ever UEFA group stage campaign with an unexpected aggregate victory against VfB Stuttgart in this season's play-offs.

• Rijeka suffered their heaviest European defeat when they went down 4-0 at Vitória SC on matchday one, but they remain unbeaten in four continental home games this season (W3 D1).

• UEFA Champions League regulars, Lyon made their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage last season having not played in the competition since 2002/03. They reached the round of 32 with the highest points tally of the season – 16 – but lost out to Tottenham Hotspur FC 3-2 on aggregate.

• A 1-1 draw at home against Guimarães on matchday two did have one positive for Lyon: Maxime Gonalons' goal ended a barren spell in front of goal in Europe that had encompassed their previous three games. They have scored just once in three continental away fixtures this season.

Team facts
• Rijeka midfielder Nikola Pokrivač played for Dinamo in both legs of Lyon's only previous meetings with Croatian opposition. Right-back Ivan Tomečak also featured in the Stade de Gerland part of that 2011/12 UEFA Champions League tie. He was not involved in the return fixture, but Rijeka team-mate Mehmed Alispahić was.

• Pokrivač is the only Rijeka player with Ligue 1 experience – he represented AS Monaco FC from winter 2008 to summer 2009, scoring twice in 32 league games. He featured in a draw and two defeats against Lyon.

Coach information
• Hired in February 2013, Slovenian coach Matjaž Kek led Rijeka to a third-placed finish at the end of last season and into Europe. Famous for taking Slovenia to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, Kek started and ended his playing career as a defender at NK Maribor – where his father played, and now his son – either side of a long spell in Austria. He returned home to Maribor for his first coaching roles, and more recently had a spell in Saudi Arabia with al-Ittihad.

• Rémi Garde has spent much of his career with Lyon, taking over as first-team coach in June 2011. As a defensive midfielder, he captained Les Gones and won six caps for France, ending his career with spells at RC Strasbourg and Arsenal FC, who he helped to win the 1997/98 English double. After a spell as a pundit he joined Lyon's coaching staff, and was assistant to Paul Le Guen and Gérard Houllier before taking charge of the club's training centre and subsequently becoming head coach.

Last updated: 30/10/13 18.40CET