UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|OGC Nice||Grand Stade de Nice - NiceThursday 29 October 2020|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group C - Matchday 2
|Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC|
Nice will hope to make a quick recovery from a chastening Matchday 1 defeat as they play host to Israeli Cup winners Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the south of France.
• Nice felt the full force of last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists Bayer Leverkusen as they went down 6-2 to the Bundesliga side at the BayArena, but there was opening-night joy in Group C for Hapoel as two late goals from Dutchman Elton Acolatse earned them a 3-1 home win against Slavia Praha. That made it three Matchday 1 victories out of three in this competition for the Israeli club.
• This is Nice's maiden UEFA encounter with opponents from Israel and Hapoel's first against a team from France.
• After two years without European football, Nice qualified for a third appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage after finishing fifth in the truncated 2019/20 Ligue 1 campaign.
• Les Aiglons finished bottom of their group in 2016/17 but progressed as runners-up the following year in a section comprising Lazio, Vitesse and Zulte Waregem before going out to Lokomotiv Moskva (2-3 h, 0-1 a) in the round of 32.
• Nice have won three and lost three of their six home fixtures in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Fourth in the Israeli league in 2019/20, Hapoel secured European qualification for the seventh successive season by winning the Israeli State Cup, beating Maccabi Petach-Tikva 2-0 in the final. Last season's European adventure ended in the UEFA Europa League play-offs against Feyenoord (0-3 a, 0-3 h).
• This season Josef Abukasis's side won their play-off tie, against Plzeň, following earlier qualifying phase successes against Dinamo Batumi (3-0 h), Laç (2-1 a) and Motherwell (3-0 h). Hapoel are therefore through to the UEFA Europa League group stage for the third time, having previously participated in 2016/17 – when they beat Internazionale twice and reached the round of 32 – and 2017/18, when they finished bottom of their group.
• The Israeli side's away record in the UEFA Europa League proper is W1 D2 L4. The victory at Laç this term ended a six-match winless run in European away fixtures (D3 L3).
Links and trivia
• Opposition coaches Patrick Vieira and Abukasis played for France and Israel respectively in a UEFA EURO 2004 qualifier in April 2003 that took place in Palermo. Lillian Thuram, father of current Nice player Kephren Thuram, was also in the France side that won 2-1.
• Hapoel's assistant coach Maor Melikson was in the Valenciennes team that lost 4-0 at Nice on 23 September 2013 in the inaugural match played at the Stade de Nice.
• Hapoel's Gaëtan Varenne was born in France and played briefly for Bastia after starting his career with French amateur side Cournon.