FC Steaua Bucureşti are still point-less and will bow out of European competition unless they can prise out a Group H win against SK Slavia Praha.
FC Steaua Bucureşti have still to gain a point in Group H and unless they can prise out a long-awaited victory against SK Slavia Praha they can wave goodbye to their hopes of claiming third place and a ticket to the UEFA Cup. The Czech Republic side have an uphill struggle if they are to continue their UEFA Champions League adventure into the knockout rounds as they currently lie five points behind Sevilla FC.
• Steaua lost the reverse fixture 2-1 and then suffered two more defeats by a single goal, away at Arsenal FC and Sevilla. A 2-0 home defeat to the Spanish side, with Brazilian midfielder Renato scoring in each half, then deepened their woes at the foot of the section in their fifth participation in Europe's most prestigious club competition.
• When the teams met on 19 September, Slavia were making their debut in the competition after five failed qualifying attempts. Nevertheless there were no opening-night nerves as Zdeněk Šenkeřík gave the home team an early lead in the Czech capital. Dorin Goian equalised before Tijani Belaid's second-half goal gave Karel Jarolím's side a winning start to their maiden campaign.
• The sides also met in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup third round where the match in the Romanian capital ended 1-1. With Slavia's home game ending 4-1 in their favour it gave the Czech team a comfortable passage to the next round. It is the only previous occasion they have faced opponents from Romania.
• Steaua's other meeting with opponents from the Czech Republic came in the 1988/89 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round. Again their home game finished all-square with AC Sparta Praha holding on for a 2-2 draw. The away leg had proved a celebration for the Romanian team as they won 5-1, the club's biggest away win in UEFA club competition.
• However, victories have proved far more difficult to come by in recent campaigns. In 28 group matches they have amassed just four wins and have now gone nine games without a victory – not including qualifying ties – losing seven and drawing two.
• Following the home triumph against Steaua, Slavia were brought back down to earth with a 4-2 loss in Seville, Daniel Pudil and David Kalivoda the goalscorers for the away side. In their last outing, Slavia considered themselves unlucky to be held 0-0 at home by Arsenal as goalkeeper Manuel Almunia twice denied the Czech side revenge for their 7-0 thrashing on Matchday 3.
• With Slavia coming up against second-placed Sevilla on Matchday 6, Jarolím's team need to win this game and at the same time hope the Spanish side lose at home to Arsenal. That would then leave them two points behind the Andalusian club with all to play for on the section's final day.
• The other game in Group H features Sevilla at home to Arsenal.