FC Metalist Kharkiv twice cruised to 4-1 victories over Austrian opposition in last season's UEFA Europa League and will hope for more of the same as SK Rapid Wien come calling in Group K.
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Having twice won 4-1 at home against Austrian sides last season, FC Metalist Kharkiv will look to keep that run going when SK Rapid Wien visit in UEFA Europa League Group K.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Metalist's record in six games against Austrian clubs – all of them under current coach Myron Markevich – is W4 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L1 in Kharkiv – W2 D1 L0 in Austria).
• Metalist played two Austrian sides in last season's UEFA Europa League, winning all four games: they beat Rapid's neighbours FK Austria Wien 2-1 away and 4-1 at home in the group stage and demolished FC Salzburg in the round of 32, winning 4-0 away and 4-1 at home.
• Rapid's record in six matches against Ukrainian opposition is W3 D0 L3 (W2 D0 L1 at home – W1 D0 L2 in Ukraine). All six of those fixtures were against FC Dynamo Kyiv, the most recent of them in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League qualifying round.
• Rapid have won their last three encounters with Ukrainian sides, dating back to a 3-2 victory against Dynamo on 30 September 1992. They are thus unbeaten against Ukrainian clubs in 20 years.
• Rapid coach Peter Schöttel played in three of those games – two wins and a defeat.
• Metalist are unbeaten in four European games, while at home they have lost only one of their last eight in UEFA competition, recording three draws and four wins in that run.
• Rapid have lost their last three European away games since a 2-0 victory at PFC CSKA Sofia in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Metalist have competed in the last five UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League campaigns, having never participated in the competition prviously. They have reached the knockout rounds on three occasions, most recently last season.
• This is Rapid's third campaign in the group stage of this competition, and they have yet to make it through to the knockout phase.
• Rapid defender Mario Sonnleitner was on the winning side in Metalist's only defeat against an Austrian side – SK Sturm Graz's 1-0 win in Kharkiv in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Metalist coach Markevich is a keen student of the game – he has made trips to study Fabio Capello, Christoph Daum and Carlo Ancelotti – and is also an able pianist. Having been in charge of Metalist since 2005, he was named Ukraine coach on his 59th birthday in February 2010 but stepped down that August to focus solely on his club duties.
• Rapid coach Schöttel served the club as a defender from 1986-2002, winning three titles and two Austrian Cups as well as earning a place in the club's Team of the Century in 1999. After retiring, the one-time team captain coached the club's amateur squad and then managed SC Wiener Neustadt before returning to take charge of Rapid in 2011.