Aris Thessaloniki FC's 40-year long unbeaten home run in UEFA club competition will be under threat as Bayer 04 Leverkusen look to maintain their position atop UEFA Europa League Group B.
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Aris Thessaloniki FC's 40-year long unbeaten home run in UEFA club competition will be under threat again as Bayer 04 Leverkusen look to maintain their position atop UEFA Europa League Group B.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• This is Aris' first home game against German opposition though they have played in Germany, losing 6-0 at FC Bayern München in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage. Luca Toni scored four times in what remains Aris' heaviest European defeat.
• Leverkusen's record in seven previous games against Greek opposition reads W3 D1 L3 (W1 D0 L2 away). Their 6-2 loss at Olympiacos FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage equals their heaviest defeat in European competition.
• Aris's five-game unbeaten run in Europe ended with a 2-1 defeat at Rosenborg BK on Matchday 2, but they have not lost at home in over 40 years of UEFA club competition games. In 22 home fixtures since making their European debut with a 1-1 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup tie against Chelsea FC on 16 September 1970 their record is W12 D10 L0.
• Leverkusen were on a four-game winning streak in European competition before their 1-1 draw against Club Atlético de Madrid on Matchday 2. They have lost just once in their last six away games, going down 3-2 at Hamburger SV in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16.
• Leverkusen's Patrick Helmes, KKS Lech Poznań's Artjoms Rudņevs and Aleksandr Kerzhakov of FC Zenit St. Petersburg remain top scorers in the group stage following Matchday 1 hat-tricks.
• Aris coach Héctor Cúper made his name in Spain. The former Argentina defender coached RCD Mallorca, Valencia CF – whom he led to the 2000 and 2001 UEFA Champions League finals – and Real Betis Balompié. He took over at Aris in November 2009.
• A fine striker in his day, Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes won the 1972 UEFA European Championship and 1974 FIFA World Cup with West Germany, and also claimed four domestic titles, a German Cup and the 1974/75 UEFA Cup with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. As a coach, he won two league titles with FC Bayern München and led Madrid to 1997/98 UEFA Champions League glory. He took charge at Leverkusen in June 2009.