Estoril Praia have made a positive start to their maiden European campaign but the Portuguese club will have their work cut out if they are to rein in rampant Sevilla FC in Group H.
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Having remained unbeaten in qualifying, Estoril Praia continue their first European campaign with a tough home fixture on the opening day of UEFA Europa League Group H, against a Sevilla FC side boasting a trio of Portuguese players who have visited the Estádio António Coimbra Da Mota before.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition and this is also Estoril's first competitive encounter with a Spanish side.
• Sevilla's 12 games against Portuguese clubs have ended W6 D2 L4 (W2 D1 L2 in Portugal). Their only previous encounters with Portuguese sides in the group stage came at home in 2005/06 (Vitória SC, 3-1) and 2006/07 (SC Braga, 2-0); on both occasions, they went on to win the UEFA Cup.
• In their first European season, Estoril have recorded three wins and a draw since entering the competition in the third qualifying round.
• Estoril have yet to concede a UEFA Europa League goal in two games at their Estádio António Coimbra Da Mota home, recording a win and a draw.
• Sevilla have made it to this stage for the sixth time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05. They have only once failed to get through to the round of 32, in 2008/09.
• Sevilla have won all four of their games since entering this season's competition in the third qualifying round, scoring a total of 18 goals in their fixtures against FK Mladost Podgorica and WKS Śląsk Wrocław – 11 of them away from home.
• Sevilla are one of five teams in the group stage who have won this competition before along with Valencia CF (2004), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), PSV Eindhoven (1978) and fellow two-time winners Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984).
• Seville is the only city to have two representatives in this season's competition with Sevilla's neighbours Real Betis Balompié in Group I.
• From a town on the coast of Portugal, Estoril are the westernmost side in this season's group stage. Estoril is 6,358km west of Karaganda, the home of the competition's easternmost representatives FC Shakhtar Karagandy, although it is 6,188km from Astana, where Shakhter will play their group stage games.
• Several Estoril players have Spanish Liga experience: midfielder Hugo Leal played three games against Sevilla (W1 D1 L1) while at Club Atlético de Madrid from 1999 to 2001, and later represented UD Salamanca; forward Javier Balboa drew twice against Sevilla while on loan from Real Madrid CF at Real Racing Club in 2006/07, and later played for FC Cartagena and Albacete Balompié; defender Mano spent two years at Villarreal CF.
• Sevilla have plenty of Portuguese talent. Experienced goalkeeper Beto has met Estoril four times with FC Marco and Leixões SC (W1 D0 L3), twice losing away games; defender Daniel Carriço helped Sporting Clube de Portugal beat Estoril 2-1 in a 2010/11 Portuguese Cup game; wing-back Diogo Figueras recorded home victories against Estoril with both Moreirense FC and FC Paços de Ferreira.
• One of the most exciting coaching prospects in Portugal, Marco Da Silva took charge of Estoril midway through 2011/12, leading them to promotion as second division champions and then on to a European debut with a fifth-placed finish the following season. A journeyman defender, the Lisbon-born coach ended his career with a six-year spell at Estoril, moving from the pitch to the bench after hanging up his boots in 2011.
• Sevilla coach since January 2013, Unai Emery started out as a midfielder at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, but was to play the bulk of his career in Spain's second division, switching from playing to coaching at Lorca Deportiva CF after a serious knee injury. Having led UD Almería to the top tier, he coached Valencia CF from 2008 to 2012, with his side regular European contenders during that spell. More recently he had a brief spell at FC Spartak Moskva.