FC Anji Makhachkala welcome Newcastle United FC to Moscow for the first time in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 looking to preserve a formidable home run.
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FC Anji Makhachkala will look to maintain their 100% record on Russian soil as UEFA Europa League round of 16 opponents Newcastle United FC visit Moscow for the first time.
• Anji and Newcastle are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, and this is the Magpies' first encounter with Russian opposition.
• Anji met an English side for the first time in the shape of Liverpool FC in the group stage, each side recording a 1-0 home win.
• Anji have won all seven of their European home games, and conceded their first UEFA goal in Russia in their 3-1 round of 32 win against Hannover 96. Their only home defeat in Europe to date came on their debut – a 1-0 loss to Rangers FC in a 2001/02 UEFA Cup first round tie which was played over one leg on neutral territory in Warsaw due to the political situation in Chechnya, which neighbours Anji's native Dagestan.
• Newcastle's 1-0 win at FC Metalist Kharkiv in their round of 32 second leg ended a run of five away games without a win in Europe (D3 L2).
• This is the first time Anji have reached the last 16 of a European tournament; Newcastle are at this stage for the fifth time. They reached the quarter-finals in 1996/97, 2003/04 (when they went as far as the semi-finals) and 2004/05, missing out for the first time in 2006/07 after surrendering a 4-2 first-leg lead against AZ Alkmaar.
• Anji and FC Viktoria Plzeň are the two longest surviving teams in the competition, having both entered in the second qualifying round.
• Newcastle have made it to the round of 16 despite scoring just eight goals from matchday one onwards – an average of just one a game, and the lowest tally of any of the group stage survivors to have made it this far.
• Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates his 26th birthday on the day of the first leg.
• Samuel Eto'o is the only player to have featured in every minute of Anji's eight games since the start of the group stage – 720 minutes in total.
• Eto'o featured in both matches as RCD Mallorca were beaten 7-1 on aggregate by Newcastle in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round.
• Anji's Mbark Boussoufa and Newcastle's Cheick Tioté were team-mates at RSC Anderlecht in 2006/07.
• Anji's Lassana Diarra (Chelsea FC 2005-07, Arsenal FC 2007-08, Portsmouth FC 2008-09) and Yuri Zhirkov (Chelsea 2009-11) both have experience of English football.
• Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa celebrates his 24th birthday on the day of the UEFA Europa League final – 15 May.
• The round of 16 features teams from 11 UEFA member associations; eight nations have a single representative, with England and Russia both taking three teams through and Italy two. Russia enjoyed a perfect round of 32, with all three representatives - Anji, FC Zenit St Petersburg and FC Rubin Kazan – making progress.
• Anji coach Guus Hiddink achieved little of note as a midfielder, but as a coach has racked up six league titles and five domestic cups with his various clubs. The Dutchman has also led the Netherlands, South Korea, Australia, Russia and Turkey at international level and won the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup with PSV Eindhoven. He took charge of Anji in February 2012.
• During his brief spell in charge in 2009, Hiddink led Chelsea FC to a 2-0 Premier League win at Newcastle – the first game of Alan Shearer's brief spell as manager of his old side.
• Newcastle's Alan Pardew was the 2011/12 Premier League manager of the year, having been in charge of Reading FC, West Ham United FC, Charlton Athletic FC and Southampton FC prior to a move to Tyneside in 2010. A glazier and taxi driver while playing non-league football, the midfielder was in his mid-20s when he became a professional, playing for Crystal Palace FC and Charlton among others.