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Udinese bring up half-century at Liverpool

Udinese Calcio visit Liverpool FC for their 50th UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League fixture, hoping to end their five-match unbeaten continental run under Brendan Rodgers.

Udinese drew 1-1 at home with Anzhi in their Group A opener
Udinese drew 1-1 at home with Anzhi in their Group A opener ©AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool FC can look back on some famous nights against Italian opposition as Udinese Calcio visit Anfield in Group A for their 50th UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League game.

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

• Liverpool's previous 23 European games against Italian teams have ended W8 D5 L10. Those matches include five UEFA club competition finals (W0 D2 L3, though the draws – 1-1 against AS Roma in the 1984 European Champion Clubs' Cup final, and 3-3 against AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final – prompted Liverpool wins on penalties).

• The 1984 win against Roma came in the Italian capital, designated neutral host of the final, while the 2-0 UEFA Super Cup defeat to Juventus in 1985 occurred in Turin.

• Those finals aside, Liverpool's record on Italian soil reads W2 D3 L4. At home, their record is W6 D0 L3.

• Udinese's three fixtures against English sides ended W1 D0 L2 (W1 D0 L1 at home – W0 D0 L1 in England). They beat Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, but lost 1-0 in London and 2-1 in Udine to Arsenal FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Match background
• UEFA Champions League regulars Liverpool competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time in 2010/11, making it to the round of 16, where they lost to SC Braga.

• The Reds are unbeaten in six European games, including all five under their new boss Brendan Rodgers.

• This is the start of Udinese's fourth UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaign – they have reached the knockout stage in their previous three attempts.

• Udinese are unbeaten in four European games, but have drawn the last three 1-1.

Team facts
• Liverpool's 5-3 win against BSC Young Boys on matchday one was their 100th game in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Their record in those 100 games is W56 D26 L18.

• This will be Udinese's 50th outing in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; their previous 49 have ended W23 D10 L16.

• Udinese goalkeeper Daniele Padelli played for Liverpool in 2007 on loan from UC Sampdoria, making his only appearance for the club in a 2-2 draw at home against Charlton Athletic FC on 13 May that year – the final game of the season, remembered as Robbie Fowler's last for the Reds.

• Current Liverpool players Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Steven Gerrard were among Padelli's team-mates that day.

• Liverpool boast Italian talent in the form of forward Fabio Borini. Once a trainee at Bologna FC, he joined Chelsea FC as a teenager. He played in Serie A for the first time last season, with AS Roma, then became Rodgers' first signing as Liverpool manager this summer.

• Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager at the end of the 2011/12 season, having won promotion to the Premier League with Swansea City AFC and led the Welsh club to a comfortable mid-table finish in their first campaign back in the top flight. Born in Northern Ireland, he had to end his playing career at 20 due to a knee condition, but made his name as a coach with Watford FC and Reading FC. He is coaching in Europe for the first time this term.

• Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin was once an Italy Under-21 midfielder, and has played for – and coached – a large number of Italian teams. He took charge of Udinese for the second time in 2010, matching a club-best third-placed finish in Serie A in 2011/12. He briefly coached outside Italy with AS Monaco FC in 2005/06.

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