Unbeaten at home in Europe this season, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC will make it to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase provided they avoid disaster against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
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Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC are within sight of the UEFA Europa League round of 32, and will make it to the next stage provided they hold their nerve against eliminated FC Girondins de Bordeaux in Group F.
• As long as they do not lose, Maccabi Tel-Aviv are certain to be in the draw for the knockout phase. However, should they lose while APOEL FC beat section winners Eintracht Frankfurt, they could miss out on goal difference or (potentially) goals scored.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv secured a shock 2-1 when the sides first met in France, Barak Itzhaki and Dor Mikha scoring in the last 20 minutes after Jussiê's header had given the hosts the lead early in the second period.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv's five games against Ligue 1 teams stand at W2 D1 L2 (W1 D1 L0 at home – W1 D0 L2 in France). Their two previous home games against French clubs have produced 11 goals, with Maccabi Tel-Aviv edging them 6-5 overall.
• Bordeaux's only previous meetings with Israeli opponents were 1-0 wins home and away against Maccabi Haifa FC in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv are unbeaten in their four European home games this season (W2 D2).
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv are appearing in the group stage for the second time, having missed the cut without winning a game in the 2011/12 competition, when they collected only two points from their six matches.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv were handed a bye in the UEFA Europa League play-offs after their opponents, PAOK FC, took the place of excluded FC Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
• Bordeaux have failed to reach the knockout phase for the first time in three attempts since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage and UEFA Europa League; they made the cut in 2007/08, and got as far as the round of 16 in last season's UEFA Europa League.
• Bordeaux are without a win in four European away games – a draw followed by three defeats.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv are the most southerly side in this season's competition, with Tromsø IL pushing the competition's northern frontier inside the Arctic Circle – 4,299km separate the two clubs.
• Bordeaux are within two goals of conceding their 200th in UEFA club competition; this is their 184th UEFA game.
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Group F rivals APOEL are among nine domestic champions who started this season's group stage along with NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).
• Maccabi Tel-Aviv's Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa famously won back-to-back UEFA Champions League titles with different clubs – Juventus (1995/96) and Borussia Dortmund (1996/97). The defensive midfielder also reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2000 with Portugal. He coached a series of English league clubs before leading Videoton FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League, and was hired as Maccabi coach in June 2013.
• Francis Gillot led Bordeaux to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 and their fourth French Cup in 2012/13, his second season in charge since joining from FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. A solid defender for RC Lens and RC Strasbourg, he started his coaching career with Lens where his frankness, faith in young players and attacking style proved popular, and he was then in charge of Sochaux from 2008 to 2011.