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Debrecen eager to avoid nul points

Debreceni VSC will look to avoid ending their campaign without a single point as they host a UC Sampdoria side also destined to go no further than the group stage this season.

Debrecen coach András Herczeg
Debrecen coach András Herczeg ©Getty Images

Debreceni VSC will look to avoid ending their campaign without a single point as they host a UC Sampdoria side also destined to go no further than Group I in this season's competition.

• Debrecen scored only their second goal of the group stage as they lost 2-1 at FC Metalist Kharkiv on Matchday 5, while a 2-1 home defeat against section leaders PSV Eindhoven on the same day did for Sampdoria's hopes of reaching the knockout rounds. Of the four Serie A sides that entered the group stage, only SSC Napoli still have a chance of advancing to the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time on Matchday 2, with Giampaolo Pazzini's 18th-minute penalty securing a 1-0 victory for Sampdoria.

• That was Debrecen's third defeat in as many games against Italian opposition. They first took on a Serie A team in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage, but lost 4-3 at home and 5-2 away against ACF Fiorentina.

• Sampdoria, meanwhile, have now won two of their three encounters with Hungarian sides. They lost their only previous match in Hungary 2-1 against Budapest Honvéd FC in the second round of the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup, but won the second leg 3-1 in Genoa.

Match background
• Debrecen have lost all 11 of their UEFA competition group-stage games – six in last term's UEFA Champions League and now five in the UEFA Europa League this season.

• The first goal that Metalist scored against Debrecen on Matchday 5 was the 100th the Hungarian club have conceded in Europe in 61 UEFA club competition games.

• Coach András Herczeg joined Debrecen as a youngster in 1970, and though he spent the latter part of his playing career elsewhere, he returned on retiring in 1988 to coach the club's youth and reserve teams. After winning two titles as assistant to Attila Supka in 2005 and 2006, Herczeg took sole command in 2007 and has since won two titles and two Hungarian Cups of his own.

• Domenico Di Carlo took over as Sampdoria coach in the summer having served his coaching apprenticeship at Mantova FC, Parma FC and AC Chievo Verona. A defensive midfielder, he spent the best years of his career with Vicenza Calcio, returning to the northern club after retirement to work with the youth team.