UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|Granada CF||Estadio Municipal Nuevo Los Cármenes - GranadaThursday 29 October 2020|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group E - Matchday 2
Debutants Granada will be looking to maintain their 100% European record as they welcome seasoned UEFA Europa League campaigners PAOK to the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes.
• The Andalusian club could hardly have wished for a better start to their first European group campaign as they came from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the Netherlands, veteran striker Jorge Molina drawing them level before Darwin Machís's winner. PAOK, meanwhile, were held 1-1 in Salonika by Omonoia, Austrian midfielder Thomas Murg getting their equalising goal.
• While Granada have never faced a Greek club, PAOK have played against Spanish clubs in ten previous UEFA matches, remaining unbeaten in Salonika (W3 D2) but without a victory in Spain (D1 L4). Their most recent experience, against Villarreal in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage, was not untypical as they lost 1-0 away before winning by the same score at home.
• Granada earned a historic first qualification for European competition by finishing seventh in the 2019/20 Spanish Liga, having been promoted just the season before.
• Diego Martínez's side began the club's maiden continental campaign in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, opening their account with a 4-0 win at Albanian side Teuta before sealing further progress with a 2-0 home win against Locomotive Tbilisi of Georgia and a 3-1 play-off success against Malmö in southern Sweden.
• With the victory in Eindhoven, Granada have therefore won all four of their European matches, one at home and three away.
• PAOK finished distant runners-up to Olympiacos in the 2019/20 Greek Superleague in defence of their title, but Abel Ferreira's side harboured high hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time this season when they knocked out Beşiktaş (3-1 h) and Benfica (2-1 h) in their first two qualifying ties, only to lose 2-1 in both legs of their play-off against Krasnodar.
• That means PAOK have extended their record of having participated in every season of the UEFA Europa League to a 12th successive year. Last season they lost on away goals to Slovan Bratislava in the play-offs (0-1 a, 3-2 h), but they are back in the group stage this term for the eighth time. Four of their previous seven participations have extended into the knockout phase but never beyond the round of 32. Their most recent group campaign, in 2018/19, was their poorest yet as they lost five of their six games and finished bottom of a group headed by eventual winners Chelsea.
• In 21 away UEFA Europa League group matches PAOK boast a W9 D6 L6 record, though there have been defeats in the last two.
Links and trivia
• PAOK's Icelandic international defender Sverrir Ingason spent the second half of 2016/17 with Granada, making 17 appearances and scoring one goal.
• José Ángel Crespo, the PAOK defender, is an Andalusian native born 170km from Granada. He started his career at Sevilla and has had loan spells at Racing Santander, Córdoba and Rayo Vallecano.
• Crespo played alongside Granada club captain Víctor Díaz in Sevilla's youth teams.
• Molina's goal for Granada against PSV made him, at 38 years 183 days, the third oldest scorer in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Granada defender Jesús Vallejo skippered Spain to victory in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Greek city of Katerini, 70km from Salonika.
• The Spanish club are one of six UEFA Europa League group stage debutants this season alongside CSKA-Sofia (Group A), Leicester City (G), Sivasspor (I), Royal Antwerp (J) and Omonoia, who are also in Group E.
• PAOK's eighth appearance in the UEFA Europa League proper is a Greek record, one more than Olympiacos.