Sevilla FC enjoyed back-to-back wins against FC Steaua Bucureşti in last season's UEFA Cup though the Romanians have fond memories of Seville.
Two games into their UEFA Champions League debut season and Sevilla FC have already experienced contrasting emotions. They started disappointingly with a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal FC but Matchday 2 saw them reproduce the form witnessed by UEFA Cup audiences over the past two seasons as they saw off SK Slavia Praha 4-2. For their part, FC Steaua Bucureşti have ground to make up after losing both their first two games.
• It is shaping up as a keen contest for at least one of the qualifying positions in Group F and it could be that Sevilla will come to depend on their home results. They were an important foundation in their back-to-back UEFA Cup triumphs of the last two seasons – in 14 home fixtures, Juande Ramos' team lost just once. Three weeks ago, the Spanish club were impressive in dispatching Slavia, scoring twice in each half, and will hope to pick up where they left off when they welcome familiar foes Steaua to the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium.
• The teams met last season in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 when Sevilla comfortably had the better of things on their way to retaining the trophy. They gave themselves a heavy push in the right direction by winning 2-0 in Bucharest through Christian Poulsen and a Frédéric Kanouté penalty and then Aleksandr Kerzhakov's goal proved enough to secure victory in the return.
• They were the only occasions Sevilla have met opponents from Romania whereas Steaua have faced Spanish teams 24 times, recording seven wins, four draws and 13 defeats. Their last four results will not fill them with confidence as all of them ended in defeat, scoring one goal and conceding eight in the process. In addition Spain staged their heaviest defeat in the UEFA Champions League, a 4-0 reverse at Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1996/97 group stage.
• At least a return to this arena should be a boost to morale as it was the scene of Steaua's finest hour, their triumph against FC Barcelona in the 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup final. Emerich Jenei's team prevailed 2-0 on penalties after a goalless draw and it remains the only time a Romanian club have captured the European crown.
• Seville also proved a happy hunting ground for Steaua in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup Round of 16. Opponents Real Betis Balompié were confident having returned from Romania with a goalless draw but the away leg proved a comfortable assignment for Steaua as Bănel Nicoliţă (2) and Victoraş Iacob struck without reply to book a place in the quarter-finals.
• The Romanian side opened their 2007/08 UEFA Champions League campaign with a 2-1 loss away to Slavia in which Dorin Goian scored. Hopes of putting points on the board at the second attempt were dashed as Robin van Persie struck after 75 minutes at the Steaua Stadium to give Arsenal a 1-0 win.
• It is a disappointing start to Steaua's second successive participation in the group stage because they had hopes of improving on previous results. In 26 group matches the Bucharest club have amassed only four wins. Last season they triumphed in Ukraine against FC Dynamo Kyiv but that is their only victory in the last 10 UEFA Champions League away games.