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Europa League play-offs in depth

A rapid reunion for West Ham and a new record for PAOK are on the cards in the UEFA Europa League play-offs as picks out the most interesting facts from the 22 ties.

Astra mounted an impressive comeback against West Ham in 2015/16
Astra mounted an impressive comeback against West Ham in 2015/16 ©Getty Images

Astra Giurgiu (ROU) v West Ham United (ENG)
The Romanian club knocked West Ham out of last year's UEFA Europa League in the third qualifying round, winning 2-1 at home after a 2-2 draw in east London. Captain Constantin Budescu scored twice in the second leg to give Astra – who had been 2-0 down in the first game at West Ham's old Upton Park home – the victory.

Austria Wien (AUT) v Rosenborg (NOR)
Austria edged a thrilling UEFA Cup first-round tie between these sides in 1993/94, a 4-1 success in the home second leg overturning a 3-1 loss in Norway to earn a 5-4 aggregate triumph. Walter Kogler got Austria's decisive goal at the Austria Arena in Vienna with just nine minutes left.

Slavia Praha (CZE) v Anderlecht (BEL)
The Belgian team were comfortable winners when the clubs met in the third qualifying round of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League, recording a 2-1 home victory before a 2-0 away win. Mbo Mpenza was on target in both legs.

Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v PAOK (GRE)
PAOK are in the play-offs for a record seventh time – more than any other side. Their record so far is W4 L2; Dinamo, meanwhile, crashed 8-0 on aggregate to Tottenham in the 2013/14 play-offs having been beaten 2-1 by AEK Athens over two legs two years earlier. They could become Georgia's first group stage representatives.

Gent (BEL) v Shkëndija (MKD)
Shkëndija are in only their eighth European tie, and this is the first season in which they have won a two-legged contest – they started their campaign in the first qualifying round. They would become the first club from FYR Macedonia to reach the group phase.

Arouca (POR) v Olympiacos (GRE)
This is just Arouca's second UEFA competition tie and they are yet to win – they drew 1-1 at Heracles Almelo in the third qualifying round, progressing thanks to a 0-0 home draw. In contrast, this is the first time in six years that Olympiacos have not made the UEFA Champions League group stage, and only the third time since 1997/98.