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Feyenoord provide holders with tough opener

The UEFA Europa League holders will be hoping to earn a 50th success in the competition when two-time winners Feyenoord arrive in Spain seeking an upturn in their away form.

Three-time winners Sevilla start their defence against Feyenoord
Three-time winners Sevilla start their defence against Feyenoord ©Getty Images

Winners of the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League, Sevilla FC face august opponents in their opening Group G game, with Feyenoord also past masters of the UEFA Cup.

Form guide
• In terms of previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League triumphs, Sevilla lead Feyenoord 3-2. Sevilla won the competition in 2006, 2007 and 2014, while Feyenoord tasted glory in 1974 and 2002.

Sevilla made it all the way from the third qualifying round to the UEFA Europa League final last season, losing just one of their nine home games (W6 D2 L1), to neighbours Real Betis Balompié in the round of 16.

Feyenoord have not won in eight European away games (D1 L7) since a 2-1 win at Kalmar FF in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round. In their three UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, they failed to win a single away match (D2 L4).

Trivia and links
Sevilla's next win will be their 50th in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. This is their 94th game in the competition. Feyenoord come into this match having won 51 UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League encounters, though it took them 113 outings to reach that tally.

Feyenoord defender Khalid Boulahrouz spent the 2007/08 season on loan at Sevilla during his time with Chelsea FC. He made just six league appearances for the club.

Feyenoord centre-back Joris Mathijsen also has Liga experience, having represented Málaga CF in the 2011/12 season.

The coaches
Sevilla coach since January 2013, one-time midfielder Unai Emery switched from playing to coaching at Lorca Deportiva CF. Having led UD Almería to the top tier, he coached Valencia from 2008 to 2012, with his side regular European contenders during that spell. More recently, he had a brief stint at FC Spartak Moskva.

Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten was a defender for FC Twente, and coached the club in two spells before heading abroad to join FC Schalke 04 in 2008. He returned to the Netherlands the following year and spent nearly three years in charge at PSV Eindhoven and then a season with Vitesse, taking up his current post in March 2014.