FC Slovan Liberec welcome European greenhorns Estoril Praia in UEFA Europa League Group H mindful that their Portuguese guests boast a 100% away record in continental competition.
Article top media content
FC Slovan Liberec will look to end debutants Estoril Praia's 100% away record in European competition as the Portuguese side head northeast in UEFA Europa League Group H.
• This is the sides' first encounter and Estoril's first encounter with Czech opponents. Liberec will be Estoril's most northerly destination for a UEFA game yet.
• Slovan's only previous encounter with Portuguese opponents saw them succumb to a 4-0 defeat at SC Braga in the 2006/07 UEFA Europa League group stage. No members of the current squad were involved in that match.
• Estoril suffered their first European defeat in five outings on matchday one, going down 2-1 at home against Sevilla FC. They have a 100% record in European away fixtures, though, with a 1-0 win at Hapoel Ramat-Gan FC and a 2-1 triumph at FC Pasching in qualifying.
• Estoril are one of four sides in the group stage who are in their first European season along with CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu, Wigan Athletic FC and FC Kuban Krasnodar.
• Liberec failed to make it through to the round of 32 in their only previous group stage appearance in 2006/07.
• Liberec are unbeaten in six European games (W4 D2) since starting the season with a 2-1 loss at Skonto FC in the second qualifying round. They recorded a second consecutive European draw on matchday one, 2-2 at SC Freiburg.
• 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.
• Czech sides have had the better of the past 25 games between clubs from the Czech Republic and Portugal with the record W10 D7 L8 (W7 D4 L1 at home – W3 D3 L7 in Portugal). The Czech sides have won their last three home games since that lone home defeat – AC Sparta Praha's 2-0 loss to FC Porto in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second group stage.
• Hired in June 2011, Jaroslav Šilhavý led Liberec to the Czech title in his first season at the club; it was his first major title, with the coach having gained experience on the national team staff, and by taking charge of SK Kladno, home-town club Viktoria Plzeň and Dynamo České Budějovice. As a defender, he played a Czech record 465 league games for Plzeň, RH Cheb, Slavia Praha, Petra Drnovice and FK Viktoria Žižkov.
• One of the most exciting coaching prospects in Portugal, Marco 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.