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Fenerbahçe v Molde background

Fenerbahçe will come up against Norwegian opponents for the first time on matchday one of the UEFA Europa League, Molde heading to Istanbul in Group A.

Fenerbahçe coach Vítor Pereira
Fenerbahçe coach Vítor Pereira ©AFP/Getty Images

Fenerbahçe SK striker Robin van Persie can score his first UEFA Europa League goal as his side take on Norwegian contenders Molde FK in their opening Group A game.

Previous meetings
• This is the sides' first meeting; it is also Fenerbahçe's first encounter with Norwegian opponents and Molde's first game against a Turkish team.

• There have been 18 games between Turkish and Norwegian sides in UEFA competition, with the Turkish sides having marginally the better of them (W7 D5 L6).

• Turkish sides remain unbeaten at home against their Norwegian counterparts (W6 D3).

Form guide
• Fenerbahçe are unbeaten in two European home games this season (W1 D1) and did not concede in either.

• Molde are without a win in their last seven European away fixtures: D4 L3

• Both sides transferred over to the UEFA Europa League after UEFA Champions League third qualifying round defeats – Fenerbahçe lost out to FC Shakhtar Donetsk; Molde to GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

• Semi-finalists in 2012/13, Fenerbahçe have made it through to the round of 32 in all three of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns (2006/07, 2009/10 and 2012/13).

• Molde are making their second appearance in this group stage, having missed out on the knockout phase in their maiden campaign in 2012/13.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Molde to Istanbul is around 2,800km.

• Molde are one of ten domestic champions in this season's group stage, along with KF Skenderbëu (Albania), FK Qarabağ (Azerbaijan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), FC Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).

• Fenerbahçe defender Gökhan Gönül can make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance in this game.

• New Fenerbahçe signing Van Persie has scored 28 UEFA club competition goals; the entire Molde squad combined have scored 31.

The coaches
• Fenerbahçe coach since June, Portuguese technician Vítor Pereira was André Villas-Boas's assistant when FC Porto won the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. He later won two league titles as the Dragons' coach, and a domestic double in Greece with Olympiacos FC in 2014/15.

• Erling Moe took over as Molde coach in August, replacing Tor Ole Skullerud, who was dismissed the season after leading the club to a domestic double. Born and raised in Molde, Moe has worked behind the scenes at the club since 2007, as a coach and physical trainer.