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AaB v Rio Ave background

UEFA Europa League matchday one proved to be a bruising experience for both Aalborg BK and Rio Ave FC, who are eager to get back on track in their Group J meeting.

AaB coach Kent Nielsen
AaB coach Kent Nielsen ©Getty Images

Aalborg BK and Rio Ave FC will bid to make up for a miserable start in UEFA Europa League Group J as they meet for the first time on matchday two.

Form guide
AaB kicked off Group J with the heaviest defeat in UEFA Europa League (group stage to final) history, going down 6-0 at FC Steaua Bucureşti. It was also their worst result in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup.

Rio Ave's 3-0 home loss to FC Dynamo Kyiv on the same night was their first European home defeat, and their heaviest loss in European competition.

AaB are without a win in four European home games (D3 L1) since a 2-0 success against Manchester City FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 16 (though they subsequently lost that tie on penalties).

Trivia and links
• This is Rio Ave's debut season in European competition; they qualified as losing Portuguese Cup finalists – going down 1-0 to SL Benfica in the decider, having also lost to the same opponents 2-0 in the Portuguese League Cup final.

AaB are among ten national champions in the group stage along with GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Steaua Bucureşti (Romania), AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic), HJK Helsinki (Finland), ŠK Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), FC Salzburg (Austria) and Celtic FC (Scotland).

Rio Ave's Belarusian midfielder Renan Bressan has scored 12 goals in UEFA club competition – more than twice as many as the rest of his club-mates' combined total of five.

The coaches
• Kent Nielsen led Aalborg to a domestic double in 2013/14 after taking command in 2010. Having turned out – like his father and brother – for Bronshøj BK, Nielsen won titles with Brøndby IF and played abroad with Aston Villa FC. Capped 54 times, he coached AGF Aarhus, AC Horsens and Brøndby before taking up his current role.

• As a defensive midfielder, Rio Ave coach Pedro Martins' career peaked during a three-year spell at Sporting – during which he earned, in 1997, his only cap for Portugal. As a coach, he worked his way up the leagues, joining Rio Ave in 2014 after a four-year stint at CS Marítimo.

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