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Metalist begin bid against Trabzonspor

FC Metalist Kharkiv will look to dazzle in Europe once again as they take on Trabzonspor AŞ at the start of their UEFA Europa League Group L campaign.

Metalist coach Ihor Rakhaiev
Metalist coach Ihor Rakhaiev ©Getty Images

FC Metalist Kharkiv have proved a popular draw with their free-flowing football in past UEFA Europa League campaigns and will look to dazzle again as they take on Trabzonspor AŞ in their opening Group L game.

Form guide
Metalist have lost just one of their last eight European home games, and have progressed to the knockout phase in all four of their previous UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup group stage campaigns.

Trabzonspor have not scored in their last three European away fixtures but will take encouragement from having advanced to the round of 32 from the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2013/14 and the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2011/12.

Trivia and links
Metalist's Brazilian striker Jajá left the club for Trabzonspor in 2010, scoring 12 goals in 29 league games for the Black Sea side before moving on in 2011. He rejoined Metalist in 2013.

Metalist can perhaps lay claim to the most spectacular goal in the history of the UEFA Europa League group stage: Taison's remarkable volley against Rosenborg BK on 8 November 2012.

The coaches
• Ihor Rakhaiev represented Metalist as a midfielder in the 1990s and returned to the club in 2006 after a couple of spells as FC Arsenal Kyiv coach. Born in Kharkiv, he was a youth coach and assistant to Myron Markevich at Metalist before taking sole command following his boss's departure in February 2014.

• Former Yugoslavia striker Vahid Halilhodžić took charge at Trabzonspor for a second time in summer 2014, fresh from guiding Algeria to the 2014 FIFA World Cup round of 16. He made his name in France, scoring freely for FC Nantes before joining Paris Saint-Germain, and later returned to the capital club as coach.