Athletic Club have won UEFA Europa League Group L thanks to their head-to-head superiority over FK Partizan, while matchday six visitors AZ Alkmaar are destined to finish bottom.
• AZ secured a 2-1 win – their only Group L victory to date - when the teams met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.
• Athletic's only previous encounter with Dutch rivals was a 3-2 aggregate defeat by AFC Ajax in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round.
• AZ's ten games against Spanish sides have ended W5 D3 L2 (W2 D1 L2 in Spain).
• Athletic have won all four of their European home games this season; AZ are on a three-game losing streak on the road.
• Losing finalists in 2012, Athletic made it through to the round of 32 in their first three UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, but fell short in their most recent one, 2012/13.
• AZ's eighth UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaign will finish after matchday six; they have advanced to the knockout stage five times, most recently in 2013/14 when they got as far as the last eight.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Alkmaar to Bilbao is about 1,200km.
• Athletic's Aritz Aduriz is the top scorer in the 2015/16 group stage with six goals – one more than his nearest rival, Augsburg's Raúl Bobadilla.
• Athletic midfielder Markel Susaeta is one appearance shy of his 50th in UEFA club competition.
• Ernesto Valverde took charge of Athletic for a second time in 2013. As a player, he had enjoyed the most stable period of his career in Bilbao, and he promptly returned to the club after retiring, including as head coach from 2003–05. Subsequently, he landed three Greek titles with Olympiacos FC and coached both Villarreal CF and Valencia FC.
• AZ boss since 2014, John van den Brom spent the majority of his playing days as a midfielder at Vitesse. Capped twice, he went on to coach Ajax's youth team, ADO Den Haag and Vitesse before heading to RSC Anderlecht and lifting the Belgian title in 2012/13.
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