SV Zulte Waregem are within sight of a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but must deny FC Rubin Kazan another win if they are to be certain of holding off NK Maribor and Wigan Athletic FC for second place in Group D.
• A draw would guarantee Zulte Waregem's qualification. Rubin are already certain to finish top of the section, meaning they will play the second leg of their round of 32 tie at home.
• Zulte Waregem frustrated Rubin for 60 minutes when the sides met for the first time on matchday two, but the dam burst after Frédéric Duplus' own goal, with Roman Eremenko, Aleksandr Ryazantsev and Bebras Natcho striking to secure a 4-0 win: the biggest European victory in Rubin's history.
• Zulte Waregem's only previous fixtures against Russian opposition ended with Francky Dury's side getting the better of FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the first round of the 2006/07 UEFA Cup, winning 2-0 at home after a 2-1 defeat in Moscow.
• There have been 38 games between Belgian and Russian sides in UEFA club competition, with the Russian clubs having marginally the better of them and boasting the record W19 D5 L14 (W14 D2 L4 at home – W5 D3 L10 in Belgium).
• Having picked up just one point in their first three Group D games, back-to-back wins at NK Maribor and Wigan Athletic FC have resurrected Zulte Waregem, though they are without a win in their last six continental home fixtures (D2 L4).
• Zulte Waregem made it through their only previous group stage campaign in 2006/07, bowing out to Newcastle United FC in the round of 32. However, KSV Waregem – who merged with Zultse VV to form Zulte Waregem in 2001 – enjoyed even more European success, reaching the semi-finals of the 1985/86 UEFA Cup before losing out to 1. FC Köln.
• 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 are on a 12-game unbeaten run in Europe, which started with a 3-2 win at home against Chelsea FC in last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg.
• Rubin's Bebras Natcho has laid on four assists, a total only KRC Genk's Fabien Camus can match in this season's group stage.
• Rubin's Ryazantsev and PSV Eindhoven's Memphis Depay have had ten shots off target in the group stage: more than any other players in this season's competition. Ryazantsev has also had two on target, and has scored two goals.
• Rubin and PSV Eindhoven are the only sides to have appeared in all five editions of the UEFA Europa League.
• Zulte Waregem midfielder Thorgan Hazard can get some useful information on Rubin from his older brother Eden, who played in the home leg of Chelsea's quarter-final tie against Kurban Berdyev's men last season.
• Rubin attacking midfielder Gökdeniz Karadeniz and Zulte Waregem midfielder Karel D'Haene were team-mates at Trabzonspor AŞ from 2003-05, during which time the Black Sea club won the 2003/04 Turkish Cup and twice finished as runners-up in the league.
• Coach Francky Dury returned to Zulte Waregem at the end of 2011, and came close to leading them to a first title last season. A policeman while playing as a midfielder with amateur side Hulste Sport, he coached Zultse VV and became the new side's first coach when they merged with KSV Waregem to become Zulte Waregem in 2001. He finally handed in his police badge in 2007, having steered the club to the top division and won the 2005/06 Belgian Cup.
• 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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