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Lokeren v Metalist background

KSC Lokeren OV are in something of a groove when it comes to narrow home wins as they take on FC Metalist Kharkiv in UEFA Europa League Group L.

Lokeren react after reaching the group stage
Lokeren react after reaching the group stage ©Getty Images

KSC Lokeren OV will hope that their tidy pattern of UEFA Europa League results will continue – for another game, at least – as they take on FC Metalist Kharkiv in Group L.

Form guide
• The record of Belgian clubs in 23 UEFA meetings with Ukrainian opponents is W11 D6 L6; the last three encounters between the nations' teams have all ended in Belgian wins, though only one of the last six encounters in Belgium has ended in a home success (W1 D3 L2).

Lokeren's recent results in Europe have been consistent; they have won their last two home games by one-goal margins and also lost their last three away matches by the odd goal.

Metalist have lost only once in their last seven European away trips – 1-0 at SK Rapid Wien in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage – the other six fixtures in that run ending W3 D3.

Trivia and links
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.

Metalist's Nigerian midfielder Ayila Yussuf can make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance against Lokeren.

Metalist forward Jajá played in Belgium for KVC Westerlo and KRC Genk; he and Lokeren goalkeeper Davino Verhulst were briefly team-mates at Genk in the spring of 2007.

The coaches
Lokeren coach since 2010, Peter Maes spent a big chunk of the 1990s as a back-up goalkeeper for RSC Anderlecht, later becoming No1 at KSK Beveren and R. Standard de Liège. He made his name as a coach by leading KV Mechelen back into the top division in 2006/07.

• 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 Markevych at Metalist before taking sole command following his boss's departure in February 2014.

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