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Unirea close in on qualifying quest

Sevilla FC are already assured of a qualifying place from Group G and FC Unirea Urziceni will be hoping to improve their prospects of joining them in the UEFA Champions League last 16 when the pair meet in Bucharest.

Unirea close in on qualifying quest
Unirea close in on qualifying quest ©

FC Unirea Urziceni have improved in Group G since their UEFA Champions League debut at Sevilla FC on Matchday 1 and in this return fixture they will be hoping to enhance their prospects behind the already-qualified Spanish team as well as gaining a measure of revenge for that 2-0 defeat.

• Marius Onofraş maintained Unirea's position immediately behind Sevilla by scoring a brilliant equaliser with two minutes left in Bucharest to earn a 1-1 draw against Rangers FC on Matchday 4. It put Dan Petrescu's side on five points, two ahead of VfB Stuttgart and three ahead of Rangers.

• On the same night Sevilla's 100 per cent record was ended by a superb long-range strike from Zdravko Kuzmanović with eleven minutes remaining to earn Stuttgart an away point in another 1-1 draw. Nevertheless, the result was enough to guarantee that the Andalusian club would march on into the next stage.

Previous meetings
• At the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán on 16 September a tight affair was settled in Sevilla's favour, Luis Fabiano scoring in first-half stoppage time before Renato sealed the win with a 70th-minute header.

• The victory extended Sevilla's perfect record against Romanian opponents to five games. In their four previous competitive fixtures, all against FC Steaua Bucureşti, the Spanish club ended on the winning side each time with both away ties – played at the Steaua Stadium, where Unirea are staging their home matches in this campaign – finishing 2-0 in their favour.

• The Matchday 1 game was the first time Unirea have faced a team from Spain in UEFA club competition.

Match background
• The reigning Liga 1 champions and in only their second season in UEFA competition, Unirea have still to win at home. They lost 2-0 against Hamburger SV in last year's UEFA Cup first round and drew 1-1 with Stuttgart on Matchday 2 before gaining the same scoreline against Rangers on 4 November.

• After winning 4-1 in Glasgow and 3-1 in Stuttgart, Manuel Jiménez's Sevilla side are looking for their third successive away win in the group and their fifth in six UEFA Champions League group games on foreign soil. Two years ago, their first participation in Europe's premier club competition, they started with a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal FC but then recorded victories at Steaua and SK Slavia Praha (3-0) to finish top of the group.

Team ties
• Unirea coach Dan Petrescu played for Romania against Spain at EURO '96™, a Group B fixture in Leeds that Spain won 2-1.

• Ivica Dragutinović featured in both of Serbia's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying wins against Romania, the Sevilla defender's side triumphing 3-2 in Constanta on 28 March 2009 before a 5-0 victory in Belgrade on 10 October.

• In the same qualifying group Sébastien Squillaci was an unused substitute when France were held to a 1-1 home draw by Romania on 5 September.