Austria Wien have a reason to be concerned in their Group D opener as they welcome an AC Milan side out to complete their set of major UEFA club trophies.
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This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play." More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.
Austria Wien have a reason to be concerned in their UEFA Europa League Group D opener as they welcome an AC Milan side out to complete their set of major UEFA club trophies.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Austria have won only once in 12 encounters with Serie A opposition (W1 D5 L6 – W1 D2 L3 at home), that lone success a decisive 2-1 victory against Internazionale in the UEFA Cup third round in November 1983.
• Milan have lost just one of their nine matches with Austrian opponents (W6 D2 L1 – W2 D1 L1 in Austria) – a 5-2 European Cup defeat at Rapid Wien in October 1957.
• Austria are without a win in five European home games (D2 L3), and have not scored in both of their UEFA home fixtures this season – against AEL and Osijek in qualifying for this competition.
• Milan have won all four of their 2017/18 UEFA matches without conceding, scoring ten goals in the process – at an average of 2.5 per game – against U Craiova and Shkëndija.
• Last season's Austrian Bundesliga runners-up, Austria Wien have not survived their last five UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns since making it to the quarter-finals of the 2004/05 competition.
• Sixth in Italy last term, Milan are making their first appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage since they reached the round of 32 in the last-ever UEFA Cup in 2008/09.
• This is the only major UEFA competition the Rossoneri have not won. Only Ajax, Bayern München, Chelsea, Juventus and – as of last May – Manchester United have won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League and European Cup Winners' Cup.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Milan to Vienna is a little over 600km.
• Austria Wien's Heiko Westermann and Milan's Hakan Çalhanoğlu were team-mates at Hamburg in 2013/14.
• Milan's Nikola Kalinić was a losing UEFA Europa League finalist with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in 2015, his side going down 3-2 to Sevilla in Warsaw.
• Austria Wien coach since 2015, Thorsten Fink won the 2001 UEFA Champions League and several Bundesliga titles as a Bayern midfielder, and secured back-to-back Swiss championships as coach of Basel from 2009–11.
• In charge since June 2016, Vincenzo Montella has led Milan back into Europe for the first time since 2013/14. A Serie A winner as a striker with Roma in 2000/01, he has since coached Fiorentina and Sampdoria.