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CSKA and Rapid vie for first win

Without a win in Group L, PFC CSKA Sofia and SK Rapid Wien will be desperate to get some points on the board as they meet in a UEFA Europa League group stage tie in Bulgaria.

CSKA lost out to Porto on Matchday 2
CSKA lost out to Porto on Matchday 2 ©Getty Images

Without a win in Group L, PFC CSKA Sofia and SK Rapid Wien will be desperate to get some points on the board as they meet in a UEFA Europa League group stage tie in Bulgaria.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• CSKA's six previous games against Austrian sides ended W4 D0 L2 (W3 D0 L0 in Bulgaria). In the most recent of those matches, the Army Men lost 5-4 on aggregate against Rapid's neighbours FK Austria Wien in the first round of the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League, losing 3-1 away and winning 3-2 at home.

• Rapid are yet to lose in four games against Bulgarian sides with their record reading W2 D2 L0 (W1 D1 L0 in Bulgaria).

• Rapid eliminated PFC Beroe Stara Zagora from this season's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, drawing 1-1 in the first leg – which was staged at PFC Levski Sofia's Georgi Asparuhov Stadium – and winning 3-0 at home.

Match background
• CSKA and Rapid both lost their first two Group L games. Rapid are bottom of the section on goal difference, but at least have the comfort of having scored in the group stage this season, unlike CSKA, who have lost 1-0 twice.

• CSKA's six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage home games to date have ended W1 D1 L4, with that sole victory a 2-0 success against Viking FK in the 2005/06 edition.

• All but one of Rapid's ten away games in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League have ended in defeat, with a 1-1 draw at Celtic FC in last season's UEFA Europa League their best group stage result to date. The aggregate score from those ten games is 29-3 in the hosts' favour.

Team facts
• Rapid are two goals shy of 300 conceded in UEFA club competition. This will be their 216th UEFA game.

• Rapid's René Gartler celebrates his 25th birthday on the day of the game against CSKA.

• CSKA's Cillian Sheridan was ruled offside six times in his side's first two Group L games; more than any other player in the group stage.

• Gjore Jovanovski was hired as CSKA coach in August, replacing Pavel Dochev. A midfielder, he spent most of his career in his native Skopje with FK Vardar, moving into coaching as boss of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia national team. He later coached Samsunspor and a clutch of FYROM clubs before heading for Sofia.

• Rapid coach since 2006, Pacult played for all three of the big Vienna sides – Wiener SC, Rapid and Austria Wien – as a striker. He won two league titles with FC Tirol Innsbruck, as well as earning 24 Austria caps. A losing UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finalist with Rapid in 1984/85, he later coached TSV 1860 München, FC Kärnten and 1. FC Dynamo Dresden, before claiming the Austrian title with Rapid in 2007/08.

• Rapid fans will have fond memories of one CSKA old boy, with central defender Trifon Ivanov having helped the club win the 1995/96 Bundesliga title. 'The Bulgarian Wolf' had four separate spells as a CSKA player, winning two titles and a Bulgarian Cup. He also reached the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals with both clubs.