After helping Manchester United FC beat Maccabi Haifa FC 5-2 on their UEFA Champions League debut in 2002, Laurent Blanc wants his FC Girondins de Bordeaux side to repeat the trick when the Israeli champions visit.
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FC Girondins de Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc will hope to turn the clock back to his playing days when Group A rivals Maccabi Haifa FC visit the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Matchday 2.
• Blanc was in the Manchester United FC side that defeated the Israeli team 5-2 in the visitors' first-ever UEFA Champions League group-stage match back in September 2002, lining up against the Haifa pair of Alon Harazi and Yaniv Katan.
• Bordeaux have never faced Israeli opposition before but Haifa have taken on French teams three times previously – and used victories against them as a springboard for lengthy European runs.
• Haifa earned a 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain FC on their only previous visit to France in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round, Yossi Benayoun taking just two minutes to cancel out Marco Simone's 84th-minute goal for the hosts.
• Nir Davidovitch and Harazi both featured in the Haifa lineup that day with Katan an onlooker from the substitutes' bench.
• The Israeli club went on to defeat PSG 3-2 in the second leg, Alon Mizrahi getting a 90th-minute winner to spark a run to the quarter-finals.
• Adoram Kesi, Haifa's technical manager, scored the first goal and Katan, then just 17, took the field as a 72nd-minute substitute and set up the second goal for Mizrahi.
• Haifa opened their 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage campaign by beating AJ Auxerre 3-1 on 19 October 2006 through goals from Alain Masudi, Gustavo Boccoli and Roberto Colautti.
• Davidovitch, Katan, Harazi, Boccoli and Dekel Keinan all featured from the present Haifa squad. Haifa went on to qualify for the knockout phase of that season's UEFA Cup, eventually reaching the round of 16.
• Bordeaux have suffered just one defeat in their last ten home games in UEFA club competition. That was a 3-1 reverse against AS Roma in last term's UEFA Champions League group stage where they claimed four points on home soil.
• Haifa recorded two wins and a draw on their travels in qualifying for the group stage.
• Bordeaux coach Blanc scored two goals for France in a 4-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against Israel in February 1993.
• However, he was also in the France team stunned 3-2 by Israel eight months later – the first of two home defeats that ended their hopes of qualifying for USA '94. Harazi was on the winning team that night.
• Bordeaux defender Diego Placente played against Haifa on their previous appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage, featuring in the Bayer 04 Leverkusen team that beat them 2-1 in Germany on 23 October 2002.
• Davidovitch, Harazi and Keisi were in the Israel team beaten 3-0 by France in a UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier in Paris in October 2003. Davidovitch and Katan returned to the French capital in September 2004 for a goalless draw in a World Cup qualifier. Katan featured in the countries' subsequent 1-1 draw in Tel-Aviv in March 2005, when Harazi was on the bench.
• Haifa defenders Keinan and Shai Maymon were in the Israel team that surprised France with a 2-1 aggregate victory in the play-off for the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.