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Steaua on brink of knockout round

FC Steaua Bucureşti may not even need to take anything from their game at home to VfB Stuttgart to reach the knockout stages if other results in Group E go the Romanian club's way.

Both Steaua and Stuttgart can go through in Bucharest on matchday five
Both Steaua and Stuttgart can go through in Bucharest on matchday five ©Getty Images

FC Steaua Bucureşti stand on the verge of a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as VfB Stuttgart head for Romania in Group E.

• Steaua will qualify regardless of their result against Stuttgart if FC København fail to beat Molde FK in the other Group E game. Stuttgart will go through if they win and FCK and Molde draw.

Previous meetings
• Georg Niedermeier struck five minutes from time to earn Stuttgart a 2-2 draw and deny the Romanian side a first win in Germany when the teams met on matchday one. Steaua had been on target for a win after Vedad Ibišević's early header for the hosts was quickly cancelled out by Alexandru Chipciu and Raul Rusescu converted an 80th-minute penalty.

• Stuttgart are unbeaten in their six games against Romanian opponents, which have ended W3 D3 L0 (W2 D2 L0 at home – W1 D1 L0 in Romania).

• Steaua's 15 fixtures against German sides have ended W1 D6 L8 (W1 D3 L2 at home – W0 D3 L5 in Germany). The overall results include a 1956/57 European Champion Clubs' Cup replay, which Steaua lost 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund on neutral ground in Bologna.

• Steaua's lone victory against German opponents came in the second leg of that Dortmund tie on 8 December 1957, meaning they have not beaten a Bundesliga side in 13 games spanning almost 55 years.

Match background
• Steaua have gone seven games unbeaten (W6 D1) since opening their European campaign this season with a 1-0 home loss to FC Spartak Trnava.

• The Romanian side have won their last three European home games without conceding.

• Stuttgart had not won in four European away games when they beat København 2-0 in Denmark on matchday four.

Team facts
• Steaua's Polish defender Łukasz Szukuła grew up in Trier, and played in Germany with TSV 1860 München (2004-08) and TSV Alemannia Aachen (2008-10).

• Steaua's Brazilian striker Adi Rocha also played in Germany with FC Energie Cottbus (2009-11).

• A right-sided midfielder, Laurenţiu Reghecampf was capped once by Romania and played for Steaua from 1996-2000, before finishing his career in Germany with Energie Cottbus, Aachen and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Since taking up coaching in 2009, he has had eight jobs; he has been in charge of FC Snagov three times, FC Universitatea Craiova twice and CF Gloria 1922 Bistriţa and FC Concordia Chiajna once each, taking command at Steaua in the summer of 2012.

• Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia played up front for some of Germany's top clubs – Hamburger SV, FC Bayern München and SV Werder Bremen among others – and is the only player to have scored more than 100 goals in both of Germany's top divisions. Since starting his coaching career at home-town side SV Darmstadt 98, he has been in charge at Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Hamburg, taking over at Stuttgart in 2010.

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