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Astra v Dinamo Zagreb background

FC Astra Giurgiu are destined to bow out at the end of the UEFA Europa League group stage, but GNK Dinamo Zagreb can still dream of catching Celtic FC in Group D.

Astra's Joãozinho shields the ball from a Celtic player on matchday five
Astra's Joãozinho shields the ball from a Celtic player on matchday five ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Astra Giurgiu are already resigned to elimination in UEFA Europa League Group D, but GNK Dinamo Zagreb have an outside chance of catching Celtic FC in second.

Form guide
Dinamo beat Astra 5-1 on matchday one, and have won all five of their previous away games against Romanian sides. They twice beat Astra's one-time local rivals FC Petrolul Ploieşti in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs (Astra moved from Ploiesti to Giurgiu in 2012).

Dinamo have lost their last 12 UEFA group stage away matches since a 2-0 success at Club Brugge KV in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League.

Dinamo's 5-1 loss to FC Salzburg last time out was their heaviest home defeat in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.

Trivia and links
Dinamo's Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo played alongside on-loan Astra left-back Joãozinho at SC Braga last season.

Dinamo right-back Ivo Pinto has experience of Romanian football, having turned out for CFR 1907 Cluj in 2012/13.

Dinamo have featured in ten previous UEFA club competition group stages – four in the UEFA Champions League and six in the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup – but have yet to make it through to the next phase.

The coaches
Astra coach Daniel Isăilă was dismissed during the October international break with his side having won just one of their previous seven games in all competitions.

• Former Soviet Union forward Oleh Protasov is Astra's new coach, having returned to Romania nine years after a five-month spell as FC Steaua Bucureşti coach. The one-time FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, FC Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos FC player has coached in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as well as in his native Ukraine.

• Previously a defensive midfielder, Dinamo coach Zoran Mamić started and ended his playing days with the club but spent much of his career in Germany with the likes of VfL Bochum 1848 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He became Dinamo coach in November 2013 after two caretaker spells, guiding them to the 2013/14 Croatian title.

• Mamić was an unused substitute when Croatia eliminated Romania in the 1998 FIFA World Cup round of 16.

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