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Legia v Metalist background

Tough-tackling Legia Warszawa are aiming to secure a fourth successive Group L win, at home against FC Metalist Kharkiv, and take a step towards the final in their home city.

Legia's Michał Kucharczyk tangles with Metalist's Cristian Villagra
Legia's Michał Kucharczyk tangles with Metalist's Cristian Villagra ©AFP/Getty Images

Legia Warszawa can take a significant step closer to contesting the UEFA Europa League final in their home city as they take on FC Metalist Kharkiv in Group L.

Form guide 
• A 1-0 win in Lviv last time out meant that Legia became one of only three teams to take maximum points from their opening three fixtures, along with FC Dinamo Moskva and ACF Fiorentina. Legia have now won three times as many games as they did in last season's group stage.

• A win against Metalist could well put Legia into the round of 32. Since the advent of the UEFA Europa League, six sides have taken nine points or more but failed to make it to the round of 32:
BSC Young Boys (10 points, 2012/13)
Tottenham Hotspur FC (10 points, 2011/12)
Paris Saint-Germain (10 points, 2011/12)
Birmingham City FC (10 points, 2011/12)
Borussia Dortmund (9 points, 2010/11)
FC Basel 1893 (9 points, 2009/10)

• However, as SSC Napoli discovered in last season's UEFA Champions League, it is possible to finish third in a four-team group on 12 points.

Legia have kept five successive European clean sheets and four in a row in the UEFA Europa League (group stage to final). That matches a record shared with six other clubs, but Legia can make it their own with another shutout on matchday four.

• The other sides who have not conceded in this season's group stage are Fiorentina, AS Saint-Étienne, Torino FC and FC Internazionale Milano.

Metalist have not scored in two European away games this season.

Trivia and links
Legia have been penalised for 62 fouls since the start of the group stage – more than any other side. Ondrej Duda has been penalised 15 times – four more than any other player – with Michał Żyro in joint second on that list with 11.

Legia defender Iñaki Astiz turns 31 on the eve of the Metalist game.

Metalist midfielder Edmar made his 50th UEFA club competition appearance on matchday three.

Legia's dream is to feature in the UEFA Europa League final in their home city; the tournament will conclude at the National Stadium, Warsaw, on 27 May 2015.

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
• Henning Berg took charge of Legia at the start of 2014. The former Blackburn Rovers FC, Manchester United FC and Rangers FC defender was capped 100 times by Norway. As a coach, he has held the reins at FK Lyn, Lillestrøm SK and – for just 57 days – Blackburn.

• 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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