Stars of the UEFA Europa League last season, FC Salzburg will look to parade their skills on a bigger stage as they take on Malmö FF in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
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FC Salzburg cut a swathe through the UEFA Europa League last season, but are eager to raise their game as they take on Malmö FF for a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Salzburg took on Swedish opponents for the first time in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, defeating IF Elfsborg 4-0 at home and 1-0 away. Jonatan Soriano scored a second-half hat-trick in that first game.
• Malmö's four previous games against Austrian opponents ended W1 D1 L2 (W1 D0 L1 at home, W0 D1 L1 in Austria); most notably, they beat FK Austria Wien 1-0 on aggregate to reach the final of the 1978/79 European Champion Clubs' Cup, which they lost to Nottingham Forest FC.
• The seven UEFA club competition meetings between Swedish and Austrian sides since the turn of the millennium have ended pretty badly for the Swedish sides, whose record is W1 D1 L5.
• Salzburg's only previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaign was in 1994/95; they have missed out in the play-offs twice in recent seasons, losing to Maccabi Haifa FC in both 2009/10 and 2010/11.
• This is Malmö's 50th game in Europe's top club competition, the previous 49 having ended W18 D14 L17. Malmö have never played in the UEFA Champions League group stage, but came close in 2011/12 as they lost to GNK Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs.
Links and trivia
• Salzburg coach Adi Hütter featured in 1-0 wins home and away against Sweden in 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying during his time as an Austrian international.
• Salzburg's Massimo Bruno and Malmö's Enoch Adu met in a Belgian league game on 28 April 2013, Adu's Club Brugge KV beating Bruno's RSC Anderlecht 2-1 – though Bruno scored the goal for his side. Adu was also on the winning side against Salzburg's Peter Ankersen in a Danish league game on 28 September 2012, FC Nordsjælland beating Esbjerg fB 3-0.
• With SV Werder Bremen, Malmö's Markus Rosenberg twice came up against Salzburg's Rodnei in 2011/12; he scored twice in a 2-0 win against Rodnei's 1. FC Kaiserslautern, with both players featuring again in a 0-0 draw later in the season.
• Rosenberg also set up a goal in Sweden's 2-0 friendly win against Austria on 11 February 2009, with Salzburg's Franz Schiemer and Andreas Ulmer featuring as second-half substitutes for Austria.