Hapoel Beer-Sheva v Lugano background

Hapoel Beer-Sheva will look to maintain their winning streak at Turner Stadium as Lugano make their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in Group G.

Hapoel Beer-Sheva coach Barak Bakhar
Hapoel Beer-Sheva coach Barak Bakhar ©AFP/Getty Images

#EQUALGAME
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.

Hapoel Beer-Sheva will look to maintain their winning streak at Turner Stadium as Lugano make their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in Group G.

Previous meetings
• This is the sides' first meeting and Lugano's first encounter with Israeli opposition.

• In their only previous tie against a Swiss team, Hapoel were eliminated by Thun in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, drawing 1-1 at home then losing 2-1 in Switzerland.

Form guide
• Israeli champions Beer-Sheva have won all three of their European home games this season – in UEFA Champions League qualifying – scoring two goals in each: 2-1, 2-0, 2-1.

• In nine European away matches to date, Lugano have earned just one win (W1 D2 L6) and scored only two goals; however, that lone victory came at Internazionale Milano in a 1-0 second-leg success in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup first round.

• Beaten on away goals by Maribor in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Beer-Sheva are back in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a second straight season, having made it to the round of 32 in 2016/17.

• Third in Switzerland last term, Lugano – from the Italian-speaking Ticino canton – have been absent from UEFA competition since 2002/03 and have yet to feature in a group stage.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Lugano to Beer Sheva is around 2,750km.

• On-loan Lugano midfielder Bálint Vécsei played alongside Beer-Sheva defender Mihály Korhut in his only two Hungary appearances so far, friendlies against Albania (1-0) and Kazakhstan (3-0) in June 2014.

The coaches
• Appointed Beer-Sheva coach in 2015, Barak Bakhar promptly steered the club to their first title in 40 years, and successfully defended that crown in 2016/17. A defender, he spent his playing heyday at Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, whom he later coached.

• Pierluigi Tami took charge of Lugano for a second time in June 2017, the Italian-born defender having spent his entire professional career in Switzerland. Notably, he assisted Ottmar Hitzfeld during his spell as national coach.

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