FC Spartak Moskva started their Group F campaign with an impressive away win and will be looking for a second successive victory when newcomers MŠK Žilina travel to Russia.
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FC Spartak Moskva failed to win a home game in the group stage when they were last in the UEFA Champions League in 2006/07. As they prepare for their first game in Moscow in Group F, Valeri Karpin's side will be looking to gain three points at the expense of MŠK Žilina.
• The Russian side started this season promisingly with a 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille on Matchday 1, Žilina losing 4-1 at home to Chelsea FC the same night.
• These sides have never met in a competitive fixture and only Spartak have previously faced opponents from the other's country. All four games came against MFK Košice in two ties spanning 26 years. At home the Russian team won 2-0 in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round, and drew 0-0 in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. They lost both away legs 2-1.
• This is the seventh away game for a Slovakian side in the UEFA Champions League group stage and to date there is just a single victory to their name, FC Artmedia Petržalka's 3-2 triumph at FC Porto on Matchday 2 in 2005/06.
• In 2006/07 Spartak lost 1-0 at home to FC Internazionale Milano, and drew 1-1 with Sporting Clube de Portugal and 2-2 with FC Bayern München. They finished third in the group and went into the UEFA Cup round of 32, losing 2-1 at RC Celta de Vigo after a 1-1 home draw in the first leg.
• Žilina came through three qualifying rounds to become the third Slovakian team to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, after Košice in 1997/98 and Artmedia eight years later. In the second qualifying round, a 1-0 defeat at Birkirkara FC was overturned by a 3-0 victory at home.
• In the third qualifying round another three-goal home haul by the Slovakian champions paid dividends, securing a 4-2 win overall after the away game with PFC Litex Lovech had ended 1-1.
• In the play-off round a 2-0 away win at AC Sparta Praha put Pavel Hapal's side in the ascendancy and at home Momodou Ceesay's superb bicycle kick – the third consecutive UEFA Champions League game in which he had scored – completed a 3-0 aggregate success.
• In the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage Žilina gained a memorable 2-1 away win at Aston Villa FC with defender Vladimír Leitner scoring one of their goals. That was their only victory in four games, the other away fixture ending in a 1-0 defeat at AFC Ajax. To reach that stage they had come through two qualifying phases as well as the first round. Of those three away games the Slovakian team won two and drew the other.
• Mário Pečalka appeared as a late substitute for Slovakia in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying game against Russia in Moscow's Lokomotiv Stadion on 7 September. Slovakia won 1-0.
• Spartak defender Marek Suchý was a team-mate of Žilina defender Ondřej Šourek at SK Slavia Praha during 2007/08.