Maccabi Tel-Aviv v Slavia Praha background

Slavia Praha are looking to bounce back from their matchday four defeat to revive their Group A aspirations against a Maccabi Tel-Aviv side with only pride to play for.

Slavia are looking to get back on track at Maccabi
Slavia are looking to get back on track at Maccabi ©AFP/Getty Images

Eliminated after four matches without a goal to their name, Maccabi Tel-Aviv have only pride left to play for as they host a Slavia Praha side eager to bounce back from a home defeat by Villarreal that dropped them from second to third in UEFA Europa League Group A.

Defeat in Israel would end Slavia's interest in the competition should Astana overcome Villarreal in the other Group A encounter.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday one in Prague, also Slavia's maiden fixture against Israeli opponents, and the home side recorded a 1-0 win courtesy of Czech international striker Tomáš Necid's 12th-minute strike.

• In their only other meeting with Czech opposition, Maccabi eliminated Viktoria Plzeň in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, losing 2-1 at home but winning 2-0 away en route to reaching the group stage.

Form guide
• Unbeaten in nine European fixtures (W8 D1) going into this group stage, Maccabi have taken just one point from their four fixtures since and have not found the net in any of them. No team has ever gone through the UEFA Europa League group stage without scoring a goal.

• Czech champions Slavia are without a win in 20 UEFA away fixtures (D10 L10) since a 1-0 victory at Ajax in a 2007/08 UEFA Champions League qualifier.

• Maccabi have progressed from the first qualifying round to the UEFA Europa League group stage for a second straight season. They were league and cup runners-up in Israel last term.

Highlights: Slavia 1-0 Maccabi
Highlights: Slavia 1-0 Maccabi

• Maccabi are competing in their fourth UEFA Europa League group stage. Only once previously, in 2013/14, did they progress to the round of 32.

• Edged out by APOEL in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs, Slavia made it through the UEFA Cup group stage in 2005/06, but they missed the cut in 2008/09 and also fell short in their only previous UEFA Europa League group campaign (2009/10).

Links and trivia
• The journey from Prague to Tel Aviv is around 2,600km.

• Maccabi are one of three teams to have come all the way from first qualifying round to group stage this season, along with Crvena zvezda and Skënderbeu.

• Slavia's Ruslan Rotan played for Dnipro in their 2015 UEFA Europa League final defeat by Sevilla; goalkeeper Jan Lastůvka was an unused substitute for the Ukrainian side.

• Slavia keeper Přemysl Kovář played in Israel with Hapoel Haifa (2014–16).

• Slavia players Michael Ngadeu-Ngadju and Ruslan Mingazov both celebrate their birthday on the day of the game.

• Slavia's Jan Bořil is ineligible for this encounter after collecting a yellow card on each of the last three matchdays.

• Suspended from next match if booked: Nick Blackman (Maccabi).

The coaches
• Jordi Cruyff took over as Maccabi boss in 2017 after five years as the club's sporting director. The son of Dutch great Johan Cruyff, he played for Barcelona and Manchester United and reached the 2001 UEFA Cup final with Alavés. He also played for the Netherlands at EURO '96.

• A Czechoslovak league runner-up in 1992/93 as a Slavia midfielder, Jaroslav Šilhavý returned to the club after a 22-year absence in September 2016. Having won the Czech crown as Liberec boss in 2011/12, he triumphed again with Slavia in 2017.