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Partizan plot Arsenal ambush

FK Partizan failed to post a home win when they were last in the UEFA Champions League group stage, and they will be out to make amends in their first Belgrade fixture against Arsenal FC.

Partizan plot Arsenal ambush
Partizan plot Arsenal ambush ©UEFA.com

FK Partizan failed to win any of their home games when they were last in the UEFA Champions League group stage with Arsenal FC in the first visitors to Belgrade this time round in Group H.

• The teams' campaigns started in contrasting fashion, Partizan slipping to a 1-0 defeat at FC Shakhtar Donetsk while Arsenal were at their scintillating best in a 6-0 win against SC Braga.

Previous meetings
• While the teams have not met in European competition before, Partizan have lost their last two home games against visitors from England. They went down 1-0 to Newcastle United FC in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in 2003/04, although they subsequently won by the same score at St James' Park and prevailed on penalties to reach the group stage.

• They also lost 3-1 at home to Leeds United FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup first round, Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojević playing in both games, the away leg ending 1-0 to the Yorkshire club.

• Before that their record was three wins out of three, including two notable results. They beat Manchester United FC 2-0 in the 1965/66 semi-final first leg, a 1-0 loss in the return not enough to prevent them reaching what remains their sole European final, where they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid CF in Brussels. In the 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round against Queens Park Rangers FC, the Belgrade team lost the first leg 6-2 away but remarkably won the return 4-0 to progress on away goals.

• Arsenal have only ventured to Serbia once before for an official fixture. Losing 1-0 away to FK Crvena Zvezda in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup third round, they were eliminated after a 1-1 draw at home.

Match background
• In 2003/04, Partizan's last UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, they failed to win at home in five attempts, including two qualifying rounds. That Newcastle reverse was their sole loss, the other four games all ending in draws. All three away group matches resulted in defeats, leaving the Serbian team bottom of the section.

• This season Partizan eased past FC Pyunik 4-1 in the second qualifying round, winning 3-1 at home. Next they faced HJK Helsinki with a 3-0 home victory setting them up for a 5-1 overall success. In the play-off round the Serbian champions came through against RSC Anderlecht via a 3-2 penalty shoot-out win after the two games each finished 2-2. Brazilian striker Cléo scored three goals over the tie, including two in the away leg.

• Arsenal have lost their last three UEFA Champions League away games, going down 4-1 at FC Barcelona in last season's quarter-final second leg, 2-1 FC Porto in the round of 16 and 1-0 at Olympiacos FC on Matchday 6 with qualification already assured. Their two previous away fixtures in the group brought a 1-1 draw at AZ Alkmaar and 3-2 win at R. Standard de Liège. Not including qualifying rounds, Arsène Wenger's side have won only two of their last ten away matches in the competition.

Team ties
• Vladimir Stojković and Mladen Krstajić played for Serbia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against a France side including Bacary Sagna and Gaël Clichy in Paris on 10 September 2008. For the return in Belgrade on 9 September 2009, Stojković and Sagna were both involved with Clichy an unused substitute.

• Stojković and Krstajić played in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier in Belgrade against a Belgium team containing Thomas Vermaelen in October 2006. Serbia won 1-0. All three figured in the return in Brussels in August 2007 which Belgium won 1-0, Milan Smiljanić coming on for his senior debut.