Groningen v Braga background

Groningen's UEFA Europa League adventure will end on matchday six, but Braga's will continue and they can be certain of finishing top of Group F with a point.

Ahmed Hassan after scoring Braga's winner against Groningen
Ahmed Hassan after scoring Braga's winner against Groningen ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Groningen are out of the running for a knockout round place, but SC Braga have qualified and will finish top of UEFA Europa League Group F if they avoid defeat in the Netherlands or if Olympique de Marseille fail to win away to FC Slovan Liberec.

Previous meetings
Braga won 1-0 in Portugal when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.

• Groningen's only previous encounter with Portuguese opposition came in a 1986/87 UEFA Cup third-round tie where they beat Vitória SC 1-0 at home before losing the return fixture 3-0 in Guimaraes.

• Braga's record in five games against Dutch teams is W3 D0 L2 (W1 D0 L2 in the Netherlands).

Form guide
• Groningen are involved in the group stage of a major UEFA competition for the first time. They are equalling their longest-ever European campaign with this sixth Group F game, having also played six matches in reaching the third round of the 1988/89 UEFA Cup.

Losing finalists in 2011 – when they transferred over after the UEFA Champions League group stage – Braga have now made it to the round of 32 in all five of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Braga to Groningen is around 1,700km.

• Groningen's Albert Rusnák and Braga's Joan Roman were trainees together at Manchester City FC from 2010 to 2012.

The coaches
• Previously assistant coach, Erwin van de Looi took 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, the now 43-year-old played UEFA Cup football with Vitesse, ending his injury-ravaged playing days at Groningen in 2002.

• Appointed to the Braga hot seat last summer, former defender Paulo Fonseca, 42, had a low-key playing career. Having made his name in the second division as boss of CD Aves, Fonseca twice coached FC Paços de Ferreira in the top division either side of a stint in charge of FC Porto, where he was once on the books as a player.