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Background: Debutants Gent face returning Lyon

Belgian title holders KAA Gent will make their debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League when Group H rivals Olympique Lyonnais visit the Arteveldestadion.

Gent's first taste of the UEFA Champions League awaits against Lyon
Gent's first taste of the UEFA Champions League awaits against Lyon ©Getty Images

KAA Gent will make their debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League when Group H rivals Olympique Lyonnais visit an expectant Arteveldestadion on matchday one.

Match background

• Gent's participation in the UEFA Champions League is their reward for winning the first Belgian title in their 115-year history in May.

• Their only previous taste of the UEFA Champions League was a 6-1 aggregate defeat by Dynamo Kyiv in the 2010/11 third qualifying round (0-3 a, 1-3 h).

• Gent were knocked out by Ligue 1 opponents on their solitary previous appearance in a UEFA competition group stage. In the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League, they were poised for qualification for the last 32 only to lose 3-0 at LOSC Lille on matchday six. The teams had drawn 1-1 in Belgium.

• Overall Gent have faced French teams six times, losing all three games across the border while drawing all three at home – starting with a 1-1 draw with Lens in the UEFA Cup first round on 14 September 1983.

• Gent may be new to the competition but their former home ground, the Jules Ottenstadion, hosted three UEFA Champions League fixtures in 1997/98 when Lierse played their group stage games at the venue. Lierse picked up just one point, from a 1-1 draw with Sporting Club de Portugal, while losing to AS Monaco FC (0-1) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (0-2).

• Gent are the sixth Belgian team to appear in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League after RSC Anderlecht, Club Brugge KV, KRC Genk, K. Lierse SK and R Standard de Liège.

• Second in Ligue 1 last season, Lyon are back in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 2011/12 when they reached the round of 16.

• Lyon had 12 consecutive seasons in the UEFA Champions League group stage between 2000 and 2012, and were semi-finalists in 2010.

• Last season they failed to reach the group stage of the UEFA Europa League after losing a play-off tie against Romania's FC Astra Giurgiu on away goals (1-2 h, 1-0 a).

• Lyon's most recent visit to Belgium brought a 3-1 success at Anderlecht in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs. Lisandro López hit a hat-trick as a Lyon side featuring substitute Maxime Gonalons completed an 8-2 aggregate triumph. Their overall record in Belgium is W2 D0 L3.

Coach and player links
• As a player, visiting coach Hubert Fournier was in the first Lyon side to win in Belgium – 4-3 at Club Brugge in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup third round. Steed Malbranque also played as the Ligue 1 side secured a 5-3 aggregate success.

• Hein Vanhaezebrouck's short stint as coach of KRC Genk in 2009 included home (1-2) and away (2-4) defeats by LOSC Lille in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-off round. Prior to this season, these have been his only two matches as a coach in UEFA club competition.

• Nabil Fekir struck his first goal for France's senior team in their 4-3 home defeat against Belgium in June. Mathieu Valbuena scored too, with a penalty, for Les Bleus.

• Players who have played together:
Milan Biševac and Stefan Mitrović (Serbia)

Match facts

• Gent followed up their maiden Eerste Klasse title by winning the Belgian Super Cup for the first time on 16 July, beating Club Brugge 1-0 thanks to a strike from Laurent Depoitre.

• Vanhaezebrouck's men are undefeated in eight games in 2015/16 and have only lost one of their last 16 in all competitions.

• Depoitre has scored four of Gent's seven league goals this season.

• Erik Johansson suffered a knee ligament injury while training with Sweden in early September and is expected to be out for four to six weeks.

• Uroš Vitas has not played this term because of ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

• Lyon have won both of their away matches this season – 1-0 at EA Guingamp and 4-0 against SM Caen.

• Fekir, a scorer of four goals in as many Ligue 1 appearances in 2015/16, suffered ligament and meniscus damage to his right knee on his first start for France, a 1-0 victory in Portugal on 4 September.

• Valbuena's free-kick earned Les Bleus the win in Lisbon. Three days later the midfielder made his 50th appearance for France as the UEFA EURO 2016 hosts overcame Serbia 2-1 in a Bordeaux friendly.

• Alexandre Lacazette missed France's September fixtures due to a back injury but played all 90 minutes of the 0-0 draw with LOSC on Saturday.

• Clément Grenier, out since sustaining a leg muscle injury in a 25 July friendly against Arsenal FC, resumed light training on 3 September.