Lugano must pick up a first Group B win at home to Copenhagen to keep alive their prospects of reaching the last 32.
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Without a win in their first four Group B fixtures, Lugano must end that sequence at home to Copenhagen to keep alive their prospects of reaching the round of 32, whereas the Danish champions could seal their progress to the knockout phase with a victory in St Gallen.
• Lugano's two points in the section have come from goalless draws in their two previous home fixtures, against Dynamo Kyiv and, last time out, Malmö, while Copenhagen remain unbeaten and joint top with Dynamo on six points, having drawn both games against the Ukrainian side 1-1 on Matchdays 3 and 4. If Copenhagen beat Lugano and Dynamo also overcome Malmö in Sweden, the Danish side will be guaranteed a place in the top two alongside Dynamo with a game to spare.
• New ground was broken by both clubs in the Danish capital on Matchday 1 as it was Copenhagen's first UEFA meeting with a club from Switzerland and Lugano's first against opposition from Denmark. The home side won the game 1-0 with a first European goal from Uruguayan forward Michael Santos.
• 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.
• The lakeside club have won four of their last seven European home fixtures (D2 L1) and have lost just once in Switzerland in the UEFA Europa League group stage (W2 D2), both draws coming this season.
• Copenhagen regained the Superliga crown last term, relegating title holders Midtjylland into second place to become Danish champions for the third time in four seasons – and 13th in all. They lost on penalties to Crvena zvezda of Serbia in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but were 3-2 aggregate winners over Latvian champions Riga (3-1 h, 0-1 a) in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• The Danish club are taking part in a seventh UEFA Europa League group stage. However, they have made further progress just twice, most recently in 2017/18, when they lost in the round of 32 to eventual winners Atlético Madrid (1-4 h, 0-1 a). They finished bottom of their group last season with five points.
• An own goal from Malmö's Lasse Nielsen on Matchday 2 was the first goal scored by Copenhagen in four UEFA Europa League away games, play-offs included. That 1-1 draw in Sweden plus the one that followed against Dynamo, where Cypriot striker Pieros Soteriou found the net, mean the Danish side have drawn nine of their 17 away games in the group stage of the competition (W2 L6).
Links and trivia
• Held 0-0 in each of their previous two Group B home games, Lugano had never registered a goalless draw on Swiss soil in UEFA competition prior to this season.
• Copenhagen have scored one goal in each of their four Group B encounters and are the highest-scoring team in the section.
• Lugano appointed 56-year-old Maurizio Jacobacci as the club's new head coach on 28 October in place of Fabio Celestini. An experienced coach with a lengthy CV, Jacobacci arrived from third-tier neighbours Bellinzona, having previously served in the Swiss Super League with Sion from February to September 2018. A former striker, he played for several clubs, winning the Swiss league title with Neuchâtel Xamax in 1986/87, and led Vaduz of Liechtenstein to a famous 4-0 UEFA Cup qualifying win at Hungarian club Újpest two decades later.
• Ståle Solbakken's second coaching tenure at Copenhagen began in 2013. He has won eight Danish titles in charge of the club – five of those in his first spell from 2006 to 2011 – plus four domestic cups. The former Norway midfielder won 58 caps and scored nine goals for his country, appearing at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, before being forced to retire following a heart attack. He also had short spells coaching in Germany (Köln) and England (Wolves) between two lengthy stints in the Danish capital.