FC Spartak Moskva are in urgent need of three Group G points against FC Barcelona but coach Unai Emery's record against the Blaugrana is not a good omen.
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FC Spartak Moskva have little room for manoeuvre against FC Barcelona if they want to stay alive in this season's UEFA Champions League.
• Spartak are bottom of Group G after losing at SL Benfica last time out and now face opponents whom their Spanish coach, Unai Emery, has not beaten in 14 previous attempts – most recently a 3-2 reverse at the Camp Nou in September.
• Beaten at Celtic FC on matchday four, Barcelona still lead Group G by two points and are closing in on a place in the knockout rounds for the ninth campaign running. A win in Moscow will take them through, but a draw would be enough if Benfica do not beat Celtic.
• When the clubs first met in the 1993/94 group stage, Barcelona won the section – going on to reach the final – and Spartak finished third. Spartak fought back from two down when drawing 2-2 in Moscow on 2 March 1994, Sergei Rodionov (77) and Valeri Karpin (88) cancelling out strikes by Hristo Stoichkov (10) and Romário (66).
• Karpin, now Spartak's executive director, was on target again after three minutes of the Camp Nou return a fortnight later but Barcelona hit back to win 5-1, with Stoichkov (34), Guillermo Amor (75), Ronald Koeman (78, 80) and Romário (86pen) all scoring.
• Spartak's last Moscow fixture in the competition was a 2-1 defeat of Benfica, just their second victory in 16 home UEFA Champions League group stage games. All the same, four points adrift of second-placed Celtic, they retain only slender hopes of reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2000/01.
• Spartak's 12 previous home encounters with Spanish opposition have yielded the record W3 D6 L3. Their most recent visitors from Spain were RC Celta de Vigo for a 1-1 draw in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 32 tie. Artem Dzyuba was on the bench and appeared as a substitute in Spartak's 2-1 second-leg loss in Spain.
• Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández were in the Barcelona side that won 3-1 at FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage – Barcelona's only victory from six trips to Russia. The five other matches all finished in draws, including trips to FC Rubin Kazan in the group stage in 2009/10 and 2010/11.
• Barcelona's defeat at Celtic was their first in 19 group stage outings, since they lost by the same score at home to Rubin in 2009.
• As Almería CF and Valencia CF coach, Emery drew five and lost seven matches against Barcelona.
• Emery has faced Barcelona four times already in 2012 – a 1-1 home draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final followed by a 2-0 second-leg defeat, a 5-1 Liga loss and Spartak's matchday one reverse in Catalonia.
• David Villa and Jordi Alba both played under Emery at Valencia.
• Karpin and José Pinto were team-mates at Celta from 1998 to 2002.
• While at RCD Espanyol (2008-10), Nicolás Pareja took part in their first away derby win against Barcelona in 27 years, 2-1 in February 2009.
• Kim Källström's Olympique Lyonnais went down 3-0 at Barcelona in the opening game of the 2007/08 group stage and he also played in the teams' 2-2 draw in France. He faced Barcelona again in the 2008/09 round of 16, a 1-1 home draw and 5-2 away reverse. Källström played with Éric Abidal at Lyon in 2006/07.
• Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's Russia lost twice at UEFA EURO 2008 against the Spain of Puyol, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas and Villa.
• Aiden McGeady was in the Republic of Ireland side beaten 4-0 by the Spain of Xavi, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Alba, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets at UEFA EURO 2012. McGeady was also in the Celtic team eliminated by Barcelona at the round of 16 stage in 2007/08, suffering 3-2 home and 1-0 away losses.
• José Manuel Jurado played for Real Madrid CF, Club Atlético de Madrid and RCD Mallorca.
• Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi are colleagues of Pareja and Juan Insaurralde with Argentina. Daniel Alves and Adriano play with Romulo for Brazil.