Toulouse FC will look to halt the FC Shakhtar Donetsk juggernaut after their 4-0 Matchday 3 defeat in Ukraine, with the 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners sure of progressing if they win again in Group J.
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Toulouse FC will look to halt the FC Shakhtar Donetsk juggernaut in France following their 4-0 Matchday 3 defeat in Ukraine, with the 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners sure of a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League if they win again in Group J.
• Matchday 3 produced the two sides' first ever meeting and Toulouse's first competitive game against Ukrainian opposition. Shakhtar's five previous fixtures in France have netted them three wins and two defeats.
• The 4-0 triumph over Toulouse on Matchday 3 was Shakhtar's biggest home victory in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League, and matched Toulouse's heaviest margin of defeat in European club competition – the French club having also lost 4-0 at Liverpool FC on 28 August 2007 and 5-1 at FC Spartak Moskva on 5 November 1986.
• Shakhtar have set a punishing pace in Group J, scoring four times in all three of their games in the section. Their only defeat in eight competitive European outings this season was a 1-0 loss to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup. However, they were also dumped out of the UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round by FC Timişoara on away goals after draws in both legs.
• Shakhtar have won their last two UEFA Europa League away games by three-goal margins, beating Sivasspor 3-0 in the play-offs and then Club Brugge KV 4-1 on Matchday 1.
• A former goalkeeper, Toulouse coach Alain Casanova played for Le Havre AC and Toulouse either side of a two-season spell at Olympique de Marseille in which he did not make a single competitive appearance. He replaced Elie Baup as Toulouse coach in May 2008.
• Shakhtar are coached by the hugely experienced Mircea Lucescu, a 74-times capped former Romania striker who spent the bulk of his playing career with FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti. He won Romanian titles as a coach with both Dinamo and FC Rapid Bucureşti plus Turkish championships with Galatasaray AŞ (2001/02) and Beşiktaş JK (2002/03). Since joining Shakhtar, he has won three Ukrainian Premier League crowns and, of course, the final edition of the UEFA Cup last season.
• Lucescu has a fine record in away games against French sides, with his seven matches as a coach with Galatasaray and Shakhtar netting him four wins – all by one-goal margins – and three defeats. He also coached both those clubs in UEFA Super Cup games at AS Monaco FC's Stade Louis II, winning the 2000 edition with Galatasaray but losing to Barça this season.
• Shakhtar beat Toulouse's Ligue 1 rivals Marseille in last season's UEFA Cup quarter-finals en route to winning the competition in Istanbul.
• Shakhtar go into the game as the highest scoring side in the group stage, with 12 goals from their three games. They also boast the joint best disciplinary record, having picked up just one yellow card and no reds.
• Toulouse host FK Partizan on Matchday 5, with Shakhtar at home to Club Brugge on the same day, 3 December.