Slovan Liberec have cause for optimism as they welcome Groningen in UEFA Europa League Group F, with the Dutch club without a win in six European games.
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The scorelines in FC Slovan Liberec's last few games have taken on something of a pattern as they welcome an FC Groningen side still in search of their first goal in UEFA Europa League Group F.
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Liberec's seven games against Dutch clubs have ended W1 D5 L1 (W1 D1 L1 at home – W0 D4 L0 in the Netherlands).
• Groningen's only previous match against Czech opponents was a 2-1 win at FC Zbrojovka Brno in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup group stage.
• Liberec's last four fixtures have ended 1-0 – three wins and a defeat by SC Braga in their most recent home game.
• Groningen are without a win in six European matches (D3 L3), a run dating back to a 1-0 victory over FK Partizan in a September 2006 UEFA Cup first round tie. They have yet to score in Group F.
• This is Liberec's third appearance in this group stage – they fell short in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup but advanced to the round of 32 in 2013/14.
• Groningen are featuring in the group stage of a major UEFA competition for the first time. They are set to equal their longest European campaign with their six Group F games, having also played six matches by reaching the third round of the 1988/89 UEFA Cup.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Groningen to Liberec is around 650km.
• Liberec central defender Ondřej Švejdík played for Groningen from 2006–10. He made his UEFA club competition debut with the Eredivisie outfit, but injuries – including a broken arm – limited his game time.
• Liberec boast Dutch talent in the form of erstwhile AZ Alkmaar striker Kevin Luckassen.
• Jindřich Trpišovský took charge at Slovan in June. It was a first major top-flight appointment for the coach, who models himself on Liverpool FC boss Jürgen Klopp. Once a youth coach at AC Sparta Praha, he previously led second-division FK Viktoria Žižkov, impressing despite the club's financial problems.
• Previously assistant coach, Erwin van de Looi assumed sole command at Groningen in 2013. They qualified for Europe in his first season and last time out won their first Dutch Cup. A former Dutch Under-21 international, he played UEFA Cup football with Vitesse, ending his injury-ravaged playing days at Groningen in 2002.