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.
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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.