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AEK Larnaca out to prolong Steaua's away sickness

AEK Larnaca FC face FC Steaua Bucureşti on their UEFA Europa League home debut and can take confidence from their opponents' away record which reads eight games without a win.

Steaua opened up with a draw on matchday one
Steaua opened up with a draw on matchday one ©Getty Images

AEK Larnaca FC make their UEFA Europa League Group J home debut against an FC Steaua Bucureşti side who have gone eight games without a win on their European travels.

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

• One of the two sides that merged to form AEK in 1994, EPA Larnaca FC, took on AS Victoria Bucureşti in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup first round, losing 1-0 at home and 3-0 away.

• Steaua's four games against Cypriot sides ended W3 D1 L0 (W2 D0 L0 away from home). They have scored at least twice in all of their previous games against sides from Cyprus.

Match background 
•AEK are unbeaten in six European club competition home games (five wins and a 0-0 draw against FC Barcelona) since they took on their current guise. Their only home game in Europe as EPA Larnaca ended in the above-mentioned 1-0 loss against Victoria Bucureşti.

• Steaua have not won in eight UEFA away games (four draws and four defeats) since a 2-1 UEFA Europa League play-off win at Saint Patrick's Athletic FC on 27 August 2009.

Team facts
• Steaua did not have a single shot on target on matchday one.

• Narcis Răducan, now Steaua sporting director, has played for both clubs. As an attacking midfielder the Romanian had two stints with Steaua (1995-96 and 1997-98) and represented AEK Larnaca from 2006 to 2007.

• AEK are coached by Dutchman Ton Caanen, with help from sporting director Jordi Cruyff – son of the great Johan Cruyff. Following a spell in Ukraine with FC Metalurh Donetsk, Caanen was in charge of Beitar Jerusalem FC and Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC in Israel. He later coached FC Stal Alchevsk and Maltese side Valletta FC before coming to ambitious AEK in 2010.

• Steaua are led by Israeli coach Roni Levy, who won three titles as a coach in his home country with Maccabi Haifa FC and a runners-up medal in Romania with FC Unirea Urziceni in 2009/10. He joined Steaua this summer after a spell back in Israel at Beitar Jerusalem FC.

• Levy led Maccabi Haifa through the group stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Cup, eventually reaching the round of 16.

• Steaua legend Ilie Dumitrescu managed AEK's neighbours Alki Larnaca FC during an impressive 2001/02 campaign for the modest club.

• AEK goalkeeper Alexandre Negri spent the 2004/05 season in Romania with FC Universitatea Craiova, though he was confined to the bench as his side finished bottom of the table.

• Romanian goalkeeper Cristian Munteanu spent the 2005/06 season on loan to AEK from Steaua's rivals FC Dinamo Bucureşti.