In the group stage for the first time since 1994, Salzburg kick off against a Genk side making their first appearance in eight years.
Article top media content
Salzburg make their long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League group stage with a home game against a Genk team who are making their first appearance at this level in eight years.
• The Austrian club's only previous group appearance came in 1994/95 – the third season of the UEFA Champions League – since when they have lost in qualifying on 13 occasions, including seven in a row before 2019/20, before gaining direct access this season. Genk, meanwhile, are in the group stage for the third time, and the first since 2011/12.
• The Austrian club won a sixth successive Bundesliga title in 2018/19 – their 13th overall – adding the Austrian Cup to complete a domestic double for the sixth time, all since 2011/12. As Austrian champions, Salzburg qualified automatically for the group stage.
• Salzburg's sole previous UEFA Champions League group stage appearance came in 1994/95, their European Cup debut, when they finished third in a group involving eventual winners Ajax, a Milan side who went on to lose to the Dutch club in the final, and AEK Athens. With two points then awarded for a win, Salzburg picked up five from their six matches, a 3-1 victory away to AEK their sole success.
• Of Salzburg's seven consecutive defeats in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds between 2012/13 and 2018/19, three took place in the play-offs, including last season's defeat against Crvena zvezda (0-0 a, 2-2 h).
• The Austrian club therefore moved into the UEFA Europa League, a competition in which they had reached the semi-finals in 2017/18, and won all six of their group games for the third time – a competition record – to head a section including Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg. Marco Rose's side then beat Belgium's Club Brugge in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 4-0 h), but a 3-0 first-leg loss at Napoli in the last 16 proved their undoing despite a 3-1 home win.
• Salzburg have won six of their 12 matches against Belgian clubs and three of the last four, including home (2-1) and away (3-1) wins against Standard Liège in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage. At home their record is W4 D2.
• Salzburg are undefeated in 18 European home games, winning 14 including eight of the last nine.
• Belgian champions for the fourth time in 2018/19, Genk have qualified automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time, their previous appearances, in 2002/03 and 2011/12, having both involved at least one qualifying tie.
• The Belgian club are still awaiting their first victory in the UEFA Champions League proper. In 2002/03 they drew four of their six matches but still finished bottom of a section involving Real Madrid, Roma and AEK Athens; eight years later, they drew all three home games but lost all their away matches in a section also including Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia.
• Genk have lost their last four UEFA Champions League away matches, qualifying included, going down at Chelsea (0-5) and Valencia (0-7) in the two most recent. A 1-0 success at Sarajevo in the 2007/08 second qualifying round second leg – a tie they lost on away goals having gone down 2-1 at home – is their sole away win in the competition (D3 L7), with seven goals scored and 33 conceded.
• In 2018/19 Genk won all six qualifying matches to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage – scoring 22 goals in the process – where they finished ahead of Malmö, Beşiktaş and Sarpsborg. Slavia Praha proved too strong in the round of 32, however, the Czech club winning 4-1 at the KRC Genk Arena after a goalless draw in Prague.
• Genk have scored at least once in 29 of their last 30 European matches, the exception the first leg against Slavia last season.
• Genk have won six of their last 11 European games on the road, losing only twice, at Celta Vigo (2-3) in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals and on matchday two last season at Sarpsborg (1-3).
• This is only Genk's fifth match against an Austrian club, the previous four having all come against Rapid Wien in the UEFA Europa League group stage. The Belgian side drew 2-2 in Vienna in 2013/14, losing 3-2 there three years later.
Links and trivia
• Genk's Joakim Mæhle was a Denmark team-mate of Salzburg's Rasmus Kristensen at this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship, scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Austria.
• Have played together:
Rasmus Kristensen & Paul Onachu (Midtjylland 2015–18)
• International team-mates:
Erling Braut Håland & Sander Berge (Norway)
Majeed Ashimeru & Joseph Paintsil (Ghana)
Takumi Minamino & Junya Ito (Japan)
• Summer transfers
In: Rasmus Kristensen (Ajax), Maximilian Wöber (Sevilla)
Out: Munas Dabbur (Sevilla), Hannes Wolf (RB Leipzig), Stefan Lainer (Mönchengladbach), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), David Atanga (Holstein Kiel), Mathias Honsak (Darmstadt), Asger Sørensen (Nürnberg), Igor (SPAL), Fredrik Gulbrandsen (İstanbul Başakşehir), Christoph Leitgeb (Sturm Graz), Darko Todorović (Holstein Kiel, loan), Ousmane Diakité (Altach, loan), Diadie Samassékou (Hoffenheim)
• Salzburg have won every match so far this season, seven in the Austrian Bundesliga and the first round of the domestic cup. They were 7-2 winners at home to Hartberg on Saturday.
• Erling Braut Håland scored three times at the weekend, the 19-year-old's third hat-trick of the season.
• Salzburg have scored at least four goals in seven of their eight competitive games this season.
• Alexander Walke (broken metatarsal) has been out since mid-June. Marin Pongračić (thigh) has not played since the middle of August.
• Over the international break Cican Stankovic earned his first two caps for Austria, keeping clean sheets in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers against Latvia (6-0) and Poland (0-0).
• Håland, who has already scored 14 goals for Salzburg this term, made his international debut, featuring for Norway against Malta (2-0) and Sweden (1-1).
• Takumi Minamino was on target in Japan's 2-0 friendly victory against Paraguay on 5 September and their opening 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier, another 2-0 win, away to Myanmar five days later.
• Dominik Szoboszlai scored his first goal for Hungary in the 2-1 home loss against Slovakia on 9 September.
• On 3 September Patrick Farkas renewed his contract until 2022.
• Summer transfers
In: Theo Bongonda (Zulte Waregem), Benjamin Nygren (IFK Göteborg), Stephen Odey (Zürich), Ianis Hagi (Viitorul), Carlos Cuesta (Atlético Nacional), Patrik Hrošovský (Viktoria Plzeň), Paul Onuacha (Midtjylland)
Out: Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Plzeň), Ibrahima Seck (Zulte Waregem), Marcus Ingvartsen (Union Berlin), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo), Ruben Seigers (Beerschot Antwerpen, loan), Dante Vanzeir (Mechelen, loan)
• Genk kicked off the new season with a 3-0 win against Mechelen in the Belgian Super Cup on 20 July. It was the second time they had claimed the trophy, and the first since 2011, in their eighth appearance.
• Genk lost two of their first three league games this season, having been unbeaten for their first 15 matches in 2018/19 and not suffered a second defeat until the 23rd round of fixtures.
• They were also beaten on Friday, going down 2-1 at Charleroi, and have ten points after seven matches – seven less than at the same stage of 2018/19.
• Ally Mbwana Samatta has five goals in six league matches this season, making him the Belgian First League's joint top scorer.
• Sander Berge scored in Norway's 2-0 home win against Malta in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 5 September.
• Samatta's goal earned Tanzania a 1-1 draw against Burundi in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 8 September, although he picked up a knee injury in extra time of a game Tanzania won 3-0 on penalties and missed the Charleroi defeat.
• First-choice goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has not played since 26 July due to a ruptured Achilles tendon and has not been included in the UEFA Champions League squad.
• On 11 September Joakim Maehle signed a new contract keeping him at Genk until 2023.