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Levski and Gent aim to end losing runs

PFC Levski Sofia lost all their home games in their two most recent UEFA competition group stage campaigns; they will be looking to put that right at home to KAA Gent, on a poor away run themselves.

Levski knocked out AIK Solna to reach this stage
Levski knocked out AIK Solna to reach this stage ©Getty Images

PFC Levski Sofia will look to end a long wait for a group stage home win against KAA Gent in UEFA Europa League Group C, with the Belgian side hoping former policeman Francky Dury can arrest a worrying run of away losses in Europe.

Previous meetings
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition, and this is also Gent's first encounter with Bulgarian opposition.

• Levski have never beaten a Belgian side, with their record in six UEFA club competition games reading W0 D2 L4 (W0 D2 L1 at home).

Match background
• Having played in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage and reached the same phase of the UEFA Europa League last season, Levski have lost their last six UEFA club competition group stage home ties, scoring just once in the process. However, they won both of their 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage games.

• Levski won all three of their home games in qualifying this season.

• This is Gent's first game in the group stage of a major UEFA club competition.

• The Belgian side have lost their last six European away fixtures since winning 4-0 at Cliftonville FC in the 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Team facts
• Levski coach Yasen Petrov spent one season as an attacking midfielder with the club in 1991/92, representing their local rivals FC Lokomotiv Sofia and FC Slavia Sofia as well as clubs in China, Cyprus and Germany. Twice a Bulgarian Cup winner as a player, he won three international caps and coached four other top-tier clubs before being hired as Levski coach in May 2010.

• A midfielder with Hulse Sport, Gent coach Francky Dury combined a football career with a full-time job as a police officer until 2007, when his success with SV Zulte Waregem – whom he guided from third tier to top flight in barely four years – persuaded him to go professional. Having won the 2005/06 Belgian Cup, he left Zulte Waregem after nine years to become Gent coach this summer.