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Betis first for Lyon

One of two Seville-based sides in the competition, Real Betis Balompié embark on their first UEFA Europa League adventure with a Group I encounter against Olympique Lyonnais.

Betis are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut
Betis are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut ©UEFA.com

Real Betis Balompié will look to record a fourth successive home win against French opposition as they take on Olympique Lyonnais in their first UEFA Europa League Group I fixture.

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

• Betis's record in six meetings with French sides is W3 D1 L2 (W3 D0 L0 in Seville). They have won all three home games against Ligue 1 opponents by a single goal.

• Lyon's 24 UEFA games against Spanish opponents have ended W7 D6 L11 (W2 D3 L7 in Spain). This is their first competitive visit to Seville, but they were in Spain less than a month ago, a 2-0 loss at Real Sociedad de Fútbol concluding a 4-0 aggregate UEFA Champions League play-off defeat.

Match background
• Betis are in this group stage for the first time, though they reached the round of 32 of this competition in 2005/06 after finishing third in their section in their maiden UEFA Champions League group stage campaign. They eventually bowed out to FC Steaua Bucureşti in the round of 16.

• Betis have been alternating wins and defeats in their last seven European home games; they beat FK Jablonec 6-0 in Seville in the play-offs.

• In 24 home games in Europe Betis have recorded just one draw – 0-0 against FC Dinamo Moskva in the 1977/78 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. Their overall home record reads W18 D1 L5.

• UEFA Champions League regulars, Lyon made their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage last season having not played in the competition since 2002/03. They reached the round of 32 with the highest points tally of the season – 16 – but lost out to Tottenham Hotspur FC 3-2 on aggregate.

• Lyon have yet to lose a UEFA Europa League group stage away game, recording two wins and a draw on the road last season. They scored eight goals but conceded six.

Team facts
• Seville is the only city to have two representatives in this season's UEFA Europa League, with Betis's neighbours Sevilla FC competing in Group H.

• Lyon right-back Miguel Lopes played 21 Liga games for Betis in 2010/11 while on loan from FC Porto.

• Mouhamadou Dabo joined Lyon after spending 2010/11 with Sevilla, making 24 Liga appearances.

• Lyon midfielder Steed Malbranque and Betis defender Paulão were team-mates at AS Saint-Étienne in 2011/12.

• Lyon forward Bafétimbi Gomis and Betis's French-born Polish international Damian Perquis also played together for Les Gones' arch-rivals St-Étienne, from 2005 to 2007. Perquis also had spells with ES Troyes AC and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard before heading to Spain in 2012.

• Betis's Danish goalkeeper Stephan Andersen also has recent Ligue 1 experience having joined Betis from Évian Thonon Gaillard FC in the summer. His three games against Lyon in Ligue 1 ended in two defeats and a 0-0 draw.

Coach information
• Betis coach Pepe Mel played in the Real Madrid CF youth team with Emilio Butragueño and Míchel, but the striker was to spend most of his career outside the top flight, peaking with a four-year spell at Betis between 1989 and 1993. He briefly returned to the top division as CD Tenerife coach in 2001/02 and is back again having led Betis to promotion in his first season in charge, 2010/11. He has found the time to write two novels while coaching the club.

• Rémi Garde has spent much of his career with Lyon, taking over as first-team coach in June 2011. As a defensive midfielder, he captained Les Gones and won six caps for France, ending his career with spells at RC Strasbourg and Arsenal FC, who he helped to win the 1997/98 English double. After a spell as a pundit he joined Lyon's coaching staff, and was assistant to Paul Le Guen and Gérard Houllier before taking charge of the club's training centre and subsequently becoming head coach.