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Hapoel hoping for welcome win as Schalke visit

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC's last UEFA Champions League home tie emphasised the quality they face in Group B and they will be determined to show more of their own strengths against FC Schalke 04.

Hapoel hoping for welcome win as Schalke visit
Hapoel hoping for welcome win as Schalke visit ©UEFA.com

In their last UEFA Champions League home game Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC found themselves two goals down inside 36 minutes, eventually succumbing 3-1 to Olympique Lyonnais. They will be determined to make amends in this return fixture with FC Schalke 04.

• The Israeli champions also went down 3-1 in Gelsenkirchen on Matchday 3, Raúl González scoring twice to take his tally in UEFA club competition to 70 goals. It was Hapoel's third successive Group B defeat while Schalke are second in the standings on six points, three adrift of Lyon.

Previous meetings
• That game at the Arena AufSchalke was the first competitive fixture between the clubs and the first time Schalke had faced a side from Israel.

• In last season's UEFA Europa League group stage Hapoel followed a 4-2 away defeat by Hamburger SV with a 1-0 home win. Etey Shechter was on the scoresheet in the away game.

Match background
• Only the third Israeli team to reach the group stage, Hapoel lost their opening two fixtures at SL Benfica, 2-0, and then at home to Lyon.

• The previous two Israeli teams to compete in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Maccabi Haifa FC and Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, both finished bottom of their group. No team from that country has managed to win a group match in the competition proper in 11 attempts; the last victors were Maccabi Tel-Aviv, who beat AFC Ajax 2-1 on 3 November 2004.

• In the play-off round Hapoel drew 1-1 at home with FC Salzburg after a 3-2 away win. Eli Gutman's side had edged past FK Aktobe 3-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round, winning 3-1 at home, while in the previous stage they defeated FK Željezničar 6-0 with all but one of the goals coming in Israel.

• Schalke, looking to repeat their achievement in their last UEFA Champions League appearance in 2007/08 when they reached the knockout rounds, went down 1-0 in Lyon on Matchday 1. They bounced back with a 2-0 home win against Benfica.

Team ties
• Shechter's late goal in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at Ramat Gan could not prevent an Israel defeat by Croatia on 9 October. Gil Vermouth also played the full 90 minutes for the home side while Ivan Rakitić appeared as a second-half substitute for the visitors.

• Rakitić and Toto Tamuz came on as substitutes as Croatia beat Israel 1-0 in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on 13 October 2007. Ben Sahar and Dedi Ben-Dayan were unused replacements.

• Hans Sarpei was in the Ghana team that beat Nigeria 1-0 in the 2010 African Cup of Nations semi-final. Vincent Enyeama was in goal for the losing side.

• Raúl helped Spain to a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against Israel in October 2000. Walid Badier featured for Israel.

• Felix Magath was coach of the FC Bayern München team that won 1-0 in Tel Aviv against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side also won 5-1 in Munich.

• Kyriakos Papadopoulos helped Olympiacos FC to a 2-0 Greek Super League win at a Larissa FC side including Salim Toama on 30 August 2009.

• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made his European debut in SC Heerenveen's 5-0 home win against Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC in the UEFA Cup first round in September 2004.