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Stoichiţă faces Twente test with Steaua

Mihai Stoichiţă will oversee his first European tie since returning to the FC Steaua Bucuresţi helm but it may not be easy against an FC Twente side who have already beaten Fenerbahçe SK in Group H.

Stoichiţă faces Twente test with Steaua
Stoichiţă faces Twente test with Steaua ©UEFA.com

After winning 2-1 at Fenerbahçe SK on Matchday 1, FC Twente will look to build on that positive start when they host FC Steaua Bucuresţi, who replaced coach Cristiano Bergodi with Mihai Stoichiţă following a 0-0 draw against FC Sheriff in their opening Group H match.

Previous meetings
• Twente have never met Steaua, nor any other Romanian club. Steaua lost their first two games on Dutch soil by four-goal margins, but were 3-1 winners at SC Heerenveen on their last visit to the Netherlands, in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32.

Match background
• Twente reached the first knockout round in their only UEFA Cup group stage campaign last season, losing 7-6 on penalties to Olympique de Marseille after trading 1-0 home defeats. Steaua competed successfully in two UEFA Cup group stage competitions, reaching the round of 16 in 2004/05 and then making it to the semi-finals the following season, where they lost out to Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough FC.

• McClaren's seven home European games as Twente coach have brought four wins, one draw and two defeats, with Arsenal FC and Marseille the only sides to win in Enschede during his reign.

• Steaua have won all three of their European away games this season; they had previously gone eight UEFA club competition away matches without a victory.

Team facts
• Once Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United FC, McClaren's reputation was undermined by a disappointing spell as England manager when his team missed out on UEFA EURO 2008™. However, he demonstrated his coaching acumen when Twente finished second in the Eredivisie last season, his first in the Netherlands.

• McClaren faced Cosmin Olăroiu's Steaua with Middlesbrough in the semi-finals of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup. Boro lost 1-0 in Bucharest and were then trailing 2-0 at home in the return leg before recovering to win the match 4-2. Sorin Ghionea, Petre Marin, Bănel Nicoliţă and Eugen Baciu were involved in that match for Steaua.

• Steaua became the first club to dismiss their coach since the start of the group stage, sacking Italian Bergodi on the night of their 0-0 draw with Sheriff.

• His replacement, Stoichiţă, has returned to the club he led to the 1997/98 Romanian title. He has also coached PFC Litex Lovech, Panama, Armenia, Kuwait and most recently AEL Limassol FC in Cyprus. He said: "You can't say no to a team like Steaua. You can always negotiate a contract later, you just jump in and start working."

• Stoichiţă's record in his 16 previous games as Steaua coach in Europe is W6 D3 L7. Away from home it reads W2 D0 L6.

• Steaua midfielder Andrei Ionescu knows something about Dutch football, having played for PSV Eindhoven's reserves prior to returning home to join FC Universitatea Craiova in 2005.

• Twente visit Sheriff on Matchday 3, while Steaua host Fenerbahçe on the same night, 22 October.