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Lokomotiv Moskva v Skënderbeu background

Lokomotiv Moskva secured a superb victory in Lisbon on matchday one and will look to make it two wins from two as they welcome Albanian pioneers Skënderbeu in Group H.

Aleksandr Samedov applauds fans after Lokomotiv's win in Lisbon
Aleksandr Samedov applauds fans after Lokomotiv's win in Lisbon ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Lokomotiv Moskva made an impressive start in Group H, winning 3-1 at Sporting Clube de Portugal, and will hope for three more points when they welcome group stage newcomers KF Skënderbeu.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time.

• The only previous UEFA competition tie between Russian and Albanian clubs – a 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup first round meeting of FC Dinamo Moskva and KF Vllaznia – was given as a walkover victory for the Russian team, with Vllaznia withdrawing due to tensions between Albania and the Soviet Union.

Form guide
• Lokomotiv lost their last European home game 4-1 against Apollon Limassol FC in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• Skënderbeu have won only one of their nine UEFA away games – a 2-0 triumph over FC Milsami Orhei in July 2015 – (W1 D2 L6) since making their continental debut in 2011/12 UEFA Champions League qualifying.

• Lokomotiv have successfully navigated their way through two of their previous three UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• Skenderbëu are the first Albanian side to feature in the group stage of a major UEFA competition.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Korce to Moscow is around 2,100km.

• This is Lokomotiv's 50th UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League fixture: the previous 49 ended W22 D9 L18.

• Lokomotiv's Ukrainian defender Taras Mikhalik can make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance in this game.

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

The coaches
• A six-time Tajik international, Igor Cherevchenko lifted four Russian Cups as a Lokomotiv player between 1996 and 2001, and a fifth as coach last season. He is the first man to have won the competition as a player and a coach. He has been on the club's coaching staff since 2008.

• In charge at Skënderbeu since 2012, Mirel Josa was capped 27 times as a midfielder by Albania and spent the bulk of his career at KF Tirana before finishing up in Greece. He won a title as a coach with Tirana too, and has led his current side to glory in the last three Albanian league campaigns.

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