UEFA Europa League Group F will explode into life on Matchday 1 when Panathinaikos FC take on Galatasaray AŞ for the first time in UEFA club competition.
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UEFA Europa League Group F will explode into life on Matchday 1 when Panathinaikos FC take on Galatasaray AŞ for the first time in UEFA club competition – a contest that pits two former FC Barcelona coaching colleagues against one another.
• Panathinaikos beat Fenerbahçe SK 5-2 on aggregate in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup second round. Galatasaray, for their part, beat Olympiacos FC 1-0 in the UEFA Cup group stage last season, having previously met them in the 2003 UEFA Champions League group stage, recording a home victory and away defeat.
• Panathinaikos took part in the UEFA Cup group stage in 2006/07 and 2007/08, reaching the round of 32 both times. Galatasaray competed in the final two UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, progressing from their section on both occasions.
• Panathinaikos have won just one of their last six European games. However, they never lost in four UEFA Cup group stage home ties, winning three and drawing one.
• Galatasaray scored 19 goals in six qualifying fixtures as they booked their place in the UEFA Europa League group stage, that haul including three apiece for Milan Baroš and Kader Keita and four for Shabani Nonda.
• Panathinaikos coach Henk ten Cate worked as assistant to his Galatasaray counterpart Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona. Together, the duo won the 2004/05 and 2005/06 Liga titles as well as the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League before Ten Cate returned to the Netherlands to spend the following season in charge at AFC Ajax.
• Rijkaard remained at Barça for another two seasons but had no more major trophy success.
• Both coaches are of Surinamese descent.
• Greece and Turkey met twice in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying, with Turkey winning 4-1 in Athens on 24 March 2007, but losing the return fixture in Istanbul 1-0 on 17 October the same year.
• Panathinaikos's Giorgos Karagounis and Kostas Katsouranis played in the first match, while Dimitris Salpingidis was an unused substitute. Galatasaray’s Servet Çetin, Gökhan Zan and Sabri Sarıoğlu were on the winning Turkey side.
• Karagounis was the only Panathinaikos player involved in the second leg, with Servet and Gökhan in the opposition lineup
• Galatasaray's Baroš and Harry Kewell played alongside Panathinaikos's Djibril Cissé at Liverpool FC in the 2004/05 season.
• Panathinaikos winger Sebastián Leto, another former Liverpool player, faced Galatasaray while on loan at Olympiacos FC last season, coming on 57 minutes into a 1-0 UEFA Cup group stage defeat.
• Panathinaikos visit FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti on Matchday 2, while Galatasaray are at home against SK Sturm Graz on the same night, 1 October.