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Spartak offer no respite for Žilina

FC Spartak Moskva will be looking to finish in Group F on a winning note and complete a difficult UEFA Champions League debut campaign for MŠK Žilina, who have lost all five games and conceded 17 goals.

Spartak offer no respite for Žilina
Spartak offer no respite for Žilina ©UEFA.com

Three successive defeats have ended FC Spartak Moskva's hopes of progressing from UEFA Champions League Group F, but the Russian side will be hoping to end on a high note as they visit MŠK Žilina.

• Spartak won their first two games but home and away losses to section winners Chelsea FC were followed by a 3-0 reverse against Olympique de Marseille which sealed their early elimination.

• Žilina have endured a difficult UEFA Champions League debut campaign, losing their first five matches – their last home game ending in a record 7-0 defeat by Marseille.

• The Slovakian titleholders are bidding to avoid becoming the 11th team to finish a UEFA Champions League group stage without a point. They have conceded 17 goals to date; Ferencvárosi TC (1995/96), FC Dynamo Kyiv (2007/08) and Debreceni VSC (2009/10) share the group stage record for goals against with 19.

Previous meetings
• The Moscow fixture between the sides on 28 September was dominated by the hosts, Ari capping his first start in the competition with a goal in each half for the home team. Ibson sealed the 3-0 victory by touching in Christian Maidana's cross.

• That was the first competitive fixture between the sides and only Spartak had previously faced opponents from the other's country. All four games came against MFK Košice in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round and 1997/98 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. The Russian team lost both away legs 2-1, Spartak coach Valeri Karpin playing in the latter tie as his team were eliminated.

Match background
• Žilina had a tough introduction to the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea beating them 4-1 in Slovakia. They followed the defeat at Spartak by going down 1-0 at Marseille. If that suggested an improvement in form for the debutants, hopes were quickly dashed on Matchday 4 as OM won 7-0 to set a new record for an away victory in the competition.

• The Slovakian champions did take a surprise lead through Babatounde Bello at Stamford Bridge last time out, but Chelsea came back to win 2-1.

• 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 FC Artmedia Petržalka eight years later. Pavel Hapal's side won all three home games in qualifying, against Birkirkara FC (3-0), PFC Litex Lovech (3-1) and AC Sparta Praha (1-0).

• Spartak created history in their first game as César Azpilicueta's late own goal in Marseille gave them their first win on French soil at the 11th attempt. The defeat of Žilina left the Russian club joint top of the standings. However, Chelsea were 2-0 winners in Moscow on Matchday 3 and 4-1 victors in London two weeks later, although in the latter fixture Nikita Bazhenov did have the consolation of scoring the first goal the Blues had conceded in 956 minutes at home in the league and UEFA Champions League.

• That 3-0 home defeat by Marseille last time out means Spartak can no longer reach the round of 16, although they are assured of a UEFA Europa League place.

Team ties
• Mário Pečalka appeared as a late substitute for Slovakia in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Russia at Moscow's Lokomotiv Stadion on 7 September. The visitors won 1-0.

• Spartak defender Marek Suchý was a team-mate of Žilina defender Ondřej Šourek at SK Slavia Praha during 2007/08.

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