Real Betis Balompié are certain of a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 and can unseat Group I leaders Olympique Lyonnais when they take on HNK Rijeka.
Article top media content
Qualified Real Betis Balompié can take top spot in UEFA Europa League Group I from Olympique Lyonnais when they host eliminated HNK Rijeka on matchday six.
• Betis need to win and hope Lyon lose at Vitória SC if they are to finish top. Betis can finish no lower than second.
• The sides drew 1-1 on matchday two, with Cedric's goal for Betis cancelling out Leon Benko's tenth-minute volley. It was Betis's first game against a Croatian club.
• Rijeka's seven encounters with Spanish opponents stand at W2 D2 L3 (W2 D1 L1 at home – W0 D1 L2 in Spain). Real Valladolid CF (4-1) and Real Madrid CF (3-1) came unstuck at the Stadion Kantrida in successive games in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup, although Madrid did recover to win the return leg of their second round tie 3-0 and went on to lift the trophy that season.
• Betis are unbeaten in three home games in Europe this season (W2 D1) and have yet to concede a UEFA Europa League goal at the Estadio Benito Villamarín this campaign. Rijeka have yet to avoid defeat – or score – away from home in Group I.
• Betis are in this group stage for the first time, though they reached the latter stages 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.
• Rijeka made it to their first UEFA group stage campaign with an unexpected 4-3 aggregate victory against VfB Stuttgart in this season's play-offs.
• 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.
• Croatian sides have traditionally come off worse in games against Spanish clubs, with the record W6 D8 L18 (W6 D5 L6 at home – W0 D3 L12 in Spain). Croatian outfits have scored just five goals between them in 15 visits to Spain.
• Betis dismissed coach Pepe Mel on 2 December with his side bottom of the Liga. The former striker had been in charge of the club since 2010, winning promotion the following year.
• Juan Carlos Garrido has taken charge of the club for the remainder of the season. A full-time coach since he was in his 20s, Garrido was in charge of Villarreal CF's B team before taking command of the senior selection, leading them to the semi-finals of the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League and a fourth-place finish in Spain. More recently, he led Club Brugge KV to a bronze-medal finish in the 2012/13 Belgian league.
• Hired in February 2013, Slovenian coach Matjaž Kek led Rijeka to a third-place finish at the end of that season and into Europe. Famous for taking Slovenia to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, Kek started and ended his playing career as a defender at NK Maribor – where his father played, and now his son – either side of a long spell in Austria. He returned home to Maribor for his first coaching roles, and more recently had a spell in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad.