Aris Thessaloniki FC will look to maintain their 40-year unbeaten home run in UEFA club competition as Manchester City FC pay a first visit to Greece in the round of 32.
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Aris Thessaloniki FC will look to maintain their 40-year unbeaten home run in UEFA club competition as Manchester City FC pay a first visit to Greece in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• This will be the sides' first meeting in European competition as well as City's maiden encounter with Greek opposition.
• Aris have faced English clubs on five occasions and their record reads W1 D2 L2 (W1 D1 L0 in Salonika).
• Chelsea FC were the visitors in Aris's first UEFA club competition home fixture, with the 1-1 draw on 16 September 1970 marking the start of the club's 40-year unbeaten run in UEFA home matches. That 24-game streak comprises 13 wins and 11 draws.
• Since drawing 2-2 against Poland's Jagiellonia Białystok in their first European home match of the season, Aris have not conceded in four outings – three wins and a draw – at Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium.
• City have lost only one of their four European away games this term, going down 3-1 at KKS Lech Poznań.
• The second leg of this tie will be Aris's 50th UEFA club competition fixture.
• City manager Roberto Mancini was involved in four matches against Greek sides as a UC Sampdoria player; he scored his first goals in Europe as his team drew 1-1 away and won 1-0 at home against Larissa FC.
• He struck again as Sampdoria drew 1-1 at home against Panathinaikos FC in the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup. His record in four meetings with Greek teams reads W2 D2 L0 (W1 D1 L0 in Greece).
• He also coached S.S. Lazio to a 4-0 aggregate success against Xanthi FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup.
• Héctor Cúper quit as Aris coach in January after a run of disappointing results in Greece. His stand-in replacement is former Aris defender Giannis Michalitsos.
• Winter Aris signing Nery Alberto Castillo made seven Premier League appearances for Manchester City FC in the 2007/08 season while the Mexican forward was on loan from FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
• Aris midfielder Mehdi Nafti spent four years in England with Birmingham City FC, featuring in a 1-0 Premier League loss at the City of Manchester Stadium on 20 October 2007.
• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between Beşiktaş JK and FC Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg away from home.