FC Rubin Kazan are through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but Group D back markers NK Maribor still have some hope of making it to the same stage as they visit Russia on matchday five.
• Rubin will secure top spot in the section with a point against Maribor, yet Maribor are still in with a chance of taking second place in the section.
• Two goals at the death added substantial gloss to the scoreline as Rubin triumphed 5-2 at Maribor on matchday one. The win matched the margin of Rubin's previous biggest successes on the road in Europe – two 3-0 victories – and matched Maribor's worst previous home defeat in this competition, a 4-1 loss to SS Lazio in the 2012/13 group stage.
• The Russian team have come out on top in all four meetings between sides representing these two nations at club level in UEFA competition. NK Celje lost 2-1 at home to FC Lokomotiv Nizhni Novgorod in the 1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup group stage; NK Primorje went down 3-0 away and 3-1 at home to FC Zenit in the second round of the same competition in 2001.
• Rubin's qualification means that the Russian club will have participated in the round of 32 in all five UEFA Europa League campaigns. That feat will be unique unless AFC Ajax finish third in their UEFA Champions League group.
• Rubin have competed in a UEFA group stage in the last four seasons; 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.
• Prior to beating SV Zulte Waregem 3-1 on matchday three, Maribor had not won in eight European away matches (D2 L6). They had lost all seven of their previous away games in UEFA Europa League group stages going into that fixture.
• Maribor have reached the group stage of a major UEFA competition for a 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.
• FC Salzburg and Rubin are the competition's top scorers this season with 11 goals each since the start of the group stage.
• Maribor's next goal will be their 50th in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; this is their 47th game in the two competitions.
• Maribor forward Tavares was fouled 14 times over the first four matchdays – more than any other player in this season's competition.
• Rubin's Bebras Natcho and KRC Genk's Fabien Camus laid on four assists during the first four matchdays, more than any other players in this season's competition.
• Double winners in Slovenia last season, Maribor are one of nine domestic champions competing in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage along with FC Sheriff (Moldova), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).
• 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."
• Maribor dismissed their Croatian coach Ante Čačić ahead of matchday two after just four months in charge, having secured just one win in their previous six games. 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 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 Louviéroise, 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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