UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Birmingham chase golden ticket against Maribor

Birmingham City FC trail the top two in Group H by three points as they go into their matchday six fixture against back markers NK Maribor, but still have a slim chance of progressing.

Birmingham can still go through with a win against Maribor
Birmingham can still go through with a win against Maribor ©Getty Images

Birmingham City FC must beat Group H's bottom side NK Maribor and hope SC Braga win at Club Brugge KV to make it to the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• The Blues trail the top two in the section by three points but have an inferior head-to-head record in their games against Braga. However, they have a superior head-to-head record against Club Brugge and would finish second in the event that the two sides ended up with ten points apiece.

Previous meetings
• Birmingham won 2-1 when the teams met in Slovenia on matchday two. Dalibor Volaš's 29th-minute strike – the result of a goalkeeping error by Colin Doyle – put Maribor in front but goals by the impressive Chris Burke (64) and Wade Elliott (79) turned the game around.

• Only three games had been played between Slovenian and English clubs in UEFA competition prior to matchday two; Tottenham Hotspur FC won 2-1 at NK Rudar Velenje in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup, then Liverpool FC eliminated NK Olimpija Ljubljana in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round, winning 3-0 at Anfield following a 1-1 draw in Ljubljana.

Match background
• Club Brugge came from 3-0 down to win 4-3 at Maribor on matchday five in the highest-scoring game of this season's group stage.

• Birmingham's 1-0 loss at Braga last time out was their first away defeat in UEFA competition following two wins and a draw.

• Birmingham have not won in their two group stage home games, drawing one and losing another; they have conceded five times at St Andrew's in Group H.

• Maribor have gone four European games without an away win (a draw and three defeats) since beating F91 Dudelange 3-1 in this season's UEFA Champions League second qualifying round.

Team facts
• Birmingham midfielder Elliott turns 33 on 14 December.

• Anderlecht's Matías Suárez remains the group stage's top scorer with six goals, one ahead of Fulham FC's Andrew Johnson on five. Six players have scored four goals:
Dmitri Sychev (FC Lokomotiv Moskva)
Joseph Akpala (Club Brugge KV)
Guillaume Gillet (RSC Anderlecht)
Dalibor Volaš (NK Maribor)
Miroslav Radović (Legia Warszawa)
Toto Tamuz (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC)

• Chris Hughton replaced Alex McLeish as Birmingham manager in June following their relegation from the Premier League. The former Republic of Ireland international spent the bulk of his career at Tottenham Hotspur FC, where he also started coaching. His first senior management role came at Newcastle United FC from 2009 to 2010.

• Maribor coach Darko Milanič started his career as a defender with FK Partizan, moving on to SK Sturm Graz and representing both Yugoslavia and Slovenia at international level. Having taken charge at Maribor in 2008, he has now won two league titles and one Slovenian Cup.

Related Items