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.
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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.
• 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.
• 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.