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Feyenoord face Manchester City in group return

Back in the group stage after 15 years, Dutch champions Feyenoord face a daunting-looking return against a Manchester City side with designs on a knockout place again.

Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst enjoyed success against City while an Arsenal player
Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst enjoyed success against City while an Arsenal player ©Getty Images

This week,  football fans watching UEFA Champions League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play."

More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.

Feyenoord's first match in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 15 years pits them against a Manchester City FC side who are again looking to go deep into the competition.

• While City have become regulars at this stage in recent years, Feyenoord have not participated since 2002/03 – and have not won a home match in the competition proper in almost 16 years – as they prepare to face the English club for the first time.

• Feyenoord have enjoyed recent success against visitors from Manchester, however, beating City's neighbours Manchester United FC in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

Match background

• Having lifted a first Eredivisie title in 18 years last season, Feyenoord are now in the last 32 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2002/03, when they were eliminated in the first group stage.

• The Rotterdam team lost in the third qualifying round in both 2012/13 (to FC Dynamo Kyiv) and 2014/15 (to Beşiktaş JK).

• Feyenoord's last home win in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, was a 2-1 success at home to FC Spartak Moskva on 31 October 2001.

• The Dutch side played English opposition in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, beating eventual champions Manchester United 1-0 at home but losing 4-0 away. They finished third in their section. 

• That victory against United was Feyenoord's first at home to a Premier League club since a 1-0 defeat of Everton FC in November 1995 in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round.

• Feyenoord's record at home to English teams is W5 D1 L6; overall it is W7 D5 L11.

Manchester City
• Third in last season's Premier League, City are embarking on a sixth successive UEFA Champions League campaign – and they have progressed to the round of 16 or beyond in each of the last four.

• Last term, Josep Guardiola's men came second in their section and lost on away goals to AS Monaco FC in the last 16 (5-3 home, 1-3 away).

• City did not win away in last season's competition, losing at Monaco and FC Barcelona (0-4) and drawing at Celtic FC and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. City have won just one of their last seven European away games (D3 L3).

• The Barcelona match was City's biggest European defeat, home or away.

• City's last trip to the Netherlands produced their only loss there, a 3-1 reverse at AFC Ajax in the group stage on 24 October 2012.

• The Citizens' only other away fixture against an Eredivisie side was a 1-1 first-leg draw at FC Twente in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round – City won 4-3 on aggregate.

• The Manchester club's overall record against Dutch teams is W2 D2 L1.

Coach and player links
• Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst was an Arsenal FC player between 2001 and 2003; he played 90 minutes of the 5-1 Premier League win at City on 22 February 2003.

• Have played in England:
Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa FC, 2012–14)
Brad Jones (Middlesbrough FC 2001–10, Liverpool FC 2010–15)
Steven Berghuis (Watford FC 2015/16)

• El Ahmadi scored one of his three Premier League goals for Villa in a 3-2 home victory over City on 28 September 2013.

Match facts

• Sam Larsson struck 22 minutes into his Feyenoord debut as the Rotterdam outfit won 4-2 at Heracles Almelo on Saturday. Steven Berghuis made it four goals in four games for the club.

• Feyenoord defeated Vitesse 4-2 on penalties at their De Kuip stadium after a 1-1 draw in the Dutch Super Cup on 5 August.

• Van Bronckhorst's men have won their first four games of the 2017/18 Eredivisie season, the highlight a 5-0 home victory over Willem II on 27 August.

• Teenage goalkeeper Justin Bijlow, deputising for the injured Brad Jones, made his debut for Feyenoord in their league opener against FC Twente.

• Feyenoord have won every game at home since a 1-0 defeat by Fenerbahçe SK on UEFA Europa League matchday six last season. The Rotterdam club's last domestic loss at De Kuip was a 2-0 reverse against ADO Den Haag on 31 January 2016.

Manchester City
• Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 13 goals in his 12 Premier League starts for City (nine goals, four assists). He struck twice in Saturday's 5-0 victory over Liverpool.

• City are 12 games unbeaten (W9 D3) in the Premier League, a run dating back to early April.

• Guardiola's side had two players – Kyle Walker (1-1 v Everton FC) and Raheem Sterling (2-1 v AFC Bournemouth) – sent off in their first three fixtures of the season.

• Kevin De Bruyne played in Belgium's 9-0 victory over Gibraltar on 31 August and the 2-1 triumph in Greece three days later, the latter result confirming the Red Devils' qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Vincent Kompany featured in the first of those matches.