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PAOK v Fiorentina background

PAOK and Fiorentina meet again, having come together in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage, the Greek side out to avoid a second home loss to the Viola.

PAOK celebrate a goal in qualifying this season
PAOK celebrate a goal in qualifying this season ©Intime

Fiorentina will be aiming for more of the same when they take on PAOK in UEFA Europa League Group J, two years after getting the better of their opponents at the same stage of the competition.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met in the 2014/15 group stage, Fiorentina winning 1-0 in Greece before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. The line-ups for the match in Salonika on 23 October, when Juan Vargas scored the only goal, were:
PAOK: Glykos, Skondras (Kitsiou 11), Katsikas, Raţ, Tziolis, Pereyra (Golasa 54), Salpingidis (Papadopoulos 80), Vítor, Kaçe, Tzandaris, Athanasiadis.
Fiorentina: Tătăruşanu, Richards, Badelj, Vargas, Kurtič, Basanta, Valero (Lazzari 65), Pasqual, Bernardeschi (Cuadrado 55), Tomović, Iličić (Marin 77).

• PAOK's overall record against Serie A opposition is W1 D4 L7.

• Fiorentina's one other game against a Greek side was a 1-1 draw at AEK Athens in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

Form guide
• PAOK drew all three of their home fixtures in last season's group stage.

• The Salonika outfit have qualified from three of their previous six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• Fiorentina have a 100% qualification success rate in four UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Florence to Salonika is around 1,000km.

The coaches
• Vladimir Ivić took charge at PAOK in March this year following a spell as the club's youth coach. An attacking midfielder, he won three Serbian titles with Partizan and played for AEK Athens and Aris Thessaloniki before a four-season PAOK stint.

• A European champion as a player with Juventus (1996) and Borussia Dortmund (1997), former Portugal midfielder Paulo Sousa joined Fiorentina in June 2015 fresh from landing the 2013/14 Israeli crown with Maccabi Tel-Aviv and the 2014/15 Swiss championship with Basel.