FC Paços de Ferreira will take heart from having earned their first UEFA Europa League Group E point when they meet FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on matchday three.
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FC Paços de Ferreira will look to earn a first UEFA Europa League Group E victory as they take on an FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk side in fine form on their European travels.
• The two clubs are crossing paths for the first time in UEFA competition and this is also Paços' first meeting with Ukrainian opponents.
• Dnipro's only encounter with a Portuguese side was a generation ago when they lost 1-0 away and 3-0 at home against SL Benfica in the quarter-finals of the 1989/90 European Champion Clubs' Cup.
• Contesting their third season in European football, Paços opened their Group E account on matchday two with a 1-1 draw at home against CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu, a result which ended a five-game losing streak in Europe. Before that, they succumbed 3-0 at ACF Fiorentina on matchday one.
• Paços remain a low-scoring side; their 4-2 loss to FC Zenit in this season's UEFA Champions League play-off second leg remains the only European game in which they have registered more than once. They have scored five times in their ten European fixtures to date.
• Dnipro have won three of their last four European away games, including both of their fixtures on the road this season: a 3-1 play-off win at JK Nõmme Kalju and matchday one’s 1-0 success at Pandurii.
• This is Dnipro's fourth group stage campaign; in 2004/05 they reached the round of 32, losing to FK Partizan. They failed to reach the last 32 in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup but breezed through last season only to lose out to FC Basel 1893 in the first knockout round.
• Dnipro coach Juande Ramos won the UEFA Cup twice as Sevilla coach, in 2006 and 2007, and is one of four coaches in the group stage to have had their hands on the trophy before. PAOK FC's Huub Stevens, who won it as a player (PSV Eindhoven, 1978) and a coach (FC Schalke 04, 1997), AZ Alkmaar's Dick Advocaat (FC Zenit, 2008) and Tottenham Hotspur FC manager André Villas-Boas (FC Porto, 2011) are the others.
• Dnipro were the top scorers in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage with 16 goals.
• Dnipro boast Portuguese talent in the form of midfielder Bruno Gama, who represented FC Porto, SC Braga, Vitória FC and Rio Ave FC. He joined from RC Deportivo La Coruña in the summer.
• Paços defender Ricardo and midfielder André Leão played alongside Dnipro's Brazilian forward Matheus during the spring of 2007 when the later was on loan at SC Beira-Mar.
• Coach Sérgio Gaminho is on the bench for Paços, but the man picking the team is Costinha, who replaced FC Porto-bound Paulo Fonseca at the club in summer 2013. A midfielder in the Porto side that won the 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League under José Mourinho, Costinha also played in France, Spain, Russia and Italy, and was sporting director at Sporting Clube de Portugal and Servette FC before taking charge of SC Beira-Mar.
• Dnipro coach since October 2010, Juande Ramos led Sevilla FC to back-to-back UEFA Cup successes in 2005/06 and 2006/07, before short and less successful spells in charge of Tottenham Hotspur FC, Real Madrid CF and PFC CSKA Moskva. A midfielder in the lower leagues in his native Spain, he worked his way up as a coach, taking over at Sevilla following a decent spell at Málaga CF in 2003/04, which included a celebrated 5-1 win against FC Barcelona.