UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|GNK Dinamo Zagreb||Stadion Maksimir - ZagrebThursday 22 October 2020|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group K - Matchday 1
Experienced European campaigners Dinamo Zagreb and Feyenoord will both be seeking an opening-night victory in UEFA Europa League Group K as they go head to head for the first time.
• Dinamo have entertained Dutch opposition seven times previously in the Croatian capital but have won only one of those matches (D3 L3), defeating NEC Nijmegen 3-2 in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. The only UEFA Europa League pairing with Eredivisie opponents was in the 2013/14 group stage, when PSV Eindhoven drew 0-0 in Zagreb before beating Dinamo 2-0 at home.
• Feyenoord's sole previous visit to Croatia resulted in a 3-1 defeat by Rijeka in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage. However, they won the Rotterdam return 2-0.
• Dinamo romped to their 21st Croatian title last season, completing a hat-trick of 1. HNL triumphs. They also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points – their best return in the competition for 20 years.
• Dinamo began this European campaign under returning coach Zoran Mamić by overcoming hosts CFR Cluj on penalties in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros before defeating Flora 3-1 in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of the competition for the sixth time. Their first four group campaigns were all unsuccessful, but in 2018/19 they topped their section undefeated to reach the knockout phase of a UEFA competition for the first time under the flag of Croatia. Having eliminated Viktoria Plzeň in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 3-0 h), they were beaten after extra time by Benfica in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 0-3 a).
• Dinamo are undefeated in their last nine UEFA Europa League home games, qualifiers included, winning seven of them and scoring 21 goals. In European competition overall Manchester City’s 4-1 win in Zagreb on Matchday 6 of last season's UEFA Champions League ended Dinamo’s ten-match unbeaten home run (W7 D3).
• Feyenoord were placed third in the Dutch Eredivisie last season to return to the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they ended up bottom of their section in 2019/20 behind Porto, Rangers and Young Boys. They also reached the Dutch Cup final, against Utrecht, although the fixture was cancelled.
• This is the Rotterdam club's fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage and the first time they have participated two seasons running. They topped their section in 2014/15 but have failed to qualify in their two appearances since, finishing third in 2016/17 despite beating eventual winners Manchester United 1-0 at home on Matchday 1.
• Feyenoord have won just two of their last 24 European away fixtures (D4 L18), losing all three in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage to make their all-time away record in the competition proper W1 D2 L7.
Links and trivia
• Feyenoord coach Dick Advocaat won the 2007/08 UEFA Cup with Zenit. He has also led three other clubs in the UEFA Europa League group stage, suffering elimination with PSV Eindhoven in 2012/13 before taking AZ Alkmaar (2013/14) and Fenerbahçe (2016/17) through to the knockout phase.
• Dinamo forward Komnen Andrić and Feyenoord defender Uroš Spajić played together for Serbia Under-21s in 2015.
• Feyenoord are one of six former UEFA Cup winners competing in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, together with Bayer Leverkusen (Group C), PSV Eindhoven (E), Napoli (F), Tottenham (J) and Group K rivals CSKA Moskva.
• The Rotterdam club are also one of six ex-European Cup winners among the 48 group stage participants – alongside Benfica (Group D), PSV (E), Celtic and AC Milan (H) and Crvena zvezda (L).