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Partizan kick off with Tottenham test

FK Partizan will be aiming to end a run of three consecutive defeats against English clubs when Tottenham Hotspur FC arrive in Belgrade to get their Group C campaign under way.

Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham in the summer
Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham in the summer ©Getty Images

FK Partizan face a daunting task as they kick off their UEFA Europa League Group C campaign in the form of a home fixture against Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Form guide
Partizan have lost their last three games against English opponents – including 3-1 home-and-away defeats by Spurs' neighbours Arsenal FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage. They have also lost their last three home fixtures against English teams since beating Newcastle United FC 1-0 in a 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup tie.

Spurs defeated Partizan's arch-rivals FK Crvena zveda 2-1 on aggregate in the third round of the 1972/73 UEFA Cup en route to a semi-final exit to Liverpool FC.

Partizan are unbeaten in six qualifying games this season (W4 D2) – though they lost out to PFC Ludogorets Razgrad after two draws in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

Tottenham have lost just one of their last eight European away games – 1-0 at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in last season's round of 32 – with that run including five wins.

Trivia and links
Partizan have failed to make it through their last five UEFA group stage campaigns since getting to the round of 16 via the inaugural UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05.

Spurs have a young Serbian talent in their ranks, with Swiss-born 18-year-old defender Miloš Veljković making his first-team debut last season. He will look to make a bigger impact at the club than Goran Bunjevčević, the 'Serbian Beckenbauer' who spent five low-key years at White Hart Lane from 2001 to 2006.

Spurs forward Roberto Soldado could make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance; he has scored 24 goals in his previous 49 outings.

Partizan forward Danko Lazović was a member of the PSV Eindhoven side that eliminated Tottenham 6-5 on penalties in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16. Lazović had his penalty saved in the shoot-out, but a save from Jermaine Jenas's effort took it into sudden death, where Pascal Chimbonda's miss proved decisive.

Partizan forward Ismaël Fofana was on the books at Spurs' London rivals Charlton Athletic FC, though he spent most of his time with the club out on loan abroad.

The coaches
• Just 35, Marko Nikolić took charge of Partizan in December 2013, having started his career as a youth coach at FK Rad, going on to coach their senior team, plus Serbia's Under-18 side and FK Vojvodina.

• Former Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Tottenham in the summer after a successful first season in England at Southampton FC. A Copa del Rey winner in both of his spells at RCD Espanyol, he also played for Paris Saint-Germain and FC Girondins de Bordeaux but returned to the Barcelona club for his first coaching role in 2009.