Malmö and Lugano meet in southern Sweden with both clubs on one point and seeking their first win in Group B.
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Malmö and Lugano meet in southern Sweden with both clubs seeking their first win in Group B. They each have one point on the board, having lost away on Matchday 1 and drawn at home on Matchday 2.
• Defeated 1-0 at Dynamo Kyiv in their opening fixture, Malmö came from behind to draw 1-1 against Scandinavian neighbours Copenhagen thanks to a 32nd European goal from 37-year-old striker Markus Rosenberg. Lugano, meanwhile, followed up a 1-0 defeat in the Danish capital with a 0-0 draw in St Gallen against Dynamo.
• This is Lugano's first UEFA encounter with Swedish opposition.
• Malmö have won only one of their eight matches against Swiss clubs and have a home record of W1 D1 L2, the defeats having come in the two most recent encounters. They were beaten both at home (0-1) and away (0-3) by Thun in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, their only games against Swiss opposition this century.
• Swedish champions for a record 20th time in 2017, Malmö finished third in their 2018 title defence, behind AIK and Norrköping, to secure European football for a third successive season. They notched up a club-record 16 European matches last term, from their starting point in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they lost to eventual winners Chelsea, home and away group wins against Beşiktaş having brought them springtime continental football for the first time in 32 years.
• Malmö ensured a second successive appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage – and third in total – by winning four qualifying ties this term. They overcame Ballymena, Domžale, Zrinjski and, in the play-offs, Bnei Yehuda, racking up 23 goals in the process and conceding just five.
• Malmö won all four of their home games in this season's qualifying phase, 16 of those 23 goals being scored in front of their own fans, before drawing with Copenhagen last time out. They have lost just one of their last 14 European home games (W6 D7) – 1-2 against Chelsea last season.
• Lugano finished third in the 2018/19 Swiss Super League – 45 points behind champions Young Boys – to secure group stage involvement in the UEFA Europa League for the second time in three seasons.
• Also third in 2016/17, Lugano – from the Italian-speaking Ticino canton – secured a first ever group stage participation the following season, having been absent from UEFA competition since 2002/03. They won three and lost three of their six matches, finishing third in Group G.
• In 13 European away matches to date, Lugano have earned just two wins (D2 L9) and scored only six goals. Their record on the road in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W1 L3.
Links and trivia
• Lugano have a former Swedish international in their squad, striker Alexander Gerndt having won ten caps – and scored two goals – from 2010–13. He was the Swedish Allsvenskan's top scorer and player of the year in 2010, registering eight goals for Gefle (including one against Malmö) and 12 for Helsingborg.
• Gerndt helped Helsingborg to the Swedish league title in 2011. His last match in Sweden, before a mid-campaign move to Utrecht, was a derby against regional rivals Malmö in which he was sent off.
• Gerndt is a former international team-mate of Malmö's Rosenberg, Rasmus Bengtsson, Johan Dahlin, Guillermo Molins and Behrang Safari.
• Safari, who made his 100th UEFA club competition appearance on Matchday 2, is familiar with Switzerland having had two spells there with Basel, during which he won five Super League titles and one Swiss Cup.
• Malmö are one of only two clubs to have reached this season's UEFA Europa League group stage having started their campaign in the first qualifying round, the other being Rangers.
• Born in the former East Germany, Uwe Rösler left his homeland in 1994 to play up front for Manchester City, which he did for four years, forming a bond with English football that brought him back to the country to manage four lower-league clubs – Brentford, Wigan, Leeds and Fleetwood. His coaching career had begun in Norway with Lillestrøm, his final club as a player, and in June 2018 he returned to Scandinavia to become the new boss of reigning Swedish champions Malmö, masterminding progress into the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• A former Swiss international midfielder whose 35 caps included a couple of outings at UEFA EURO 2004, Fabio Celestini started out with hometown club Lausanne before moving abroad to play in France (Troyes, Marseille) and Spain (Levante, Getafe). His coaching career took off back at Lausanne in 2015/16 as he led the club to promotion as Challenge League champions. He left in April 2018 shortly before their relegation from the top flight but resurfaced at Lugano six months later and led the side to a third-placed finish in the Super League.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Europa League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.