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Hapoel Beer-Sheva v Southampton background

Hapoel Beer-Sheva have set themselves up as a real force at their Turner Stadium with five home wins this term but Southampton will test the fortress's defences in Group K.

Hapoel Beer-Sheva's Ben Sahar was once a trainee at Chelsea
Hapoel Beer-Sheva's Ben Sahar was once a trainee at Chelsea ©AFP/Getty Images

Hapoel Beer-Sheva's Turner Stadium has the makings of a European fortress as the Israeli champions welcome Southampton in Group K, both sides glowing after big matchday one wins.

Previous meetings
• These clubs are meeting for the first time, neither having previously played teams from their opponents' home country.

• In 16 games between the two nations' representatives in UEFA club competition, the Israeli sides' record reads W2 D3 L11 (W2 D1 L5 as the nominal 'hosts' – W1 L4 in Israel itself).

Form guide
• Beer-Sheva have won all three of their European home matches at their new Turner Stadium, and are unbeaten in five UEFA home fixtures (W3 D2) since a 3-0 forfeit loss to Vllaznia in the first round of the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• Beer-Sheva have won all five of their competitive home games at the Turner Stadium this season – three in Europe and two in the Israeli Premier League.

• Southampton have won only one of their last six European away matches (W1 D2 L3) since a 3-0 success at Limerick in the first round of the 1981/82 UEFA Cup.

• The Israeli team are making their UEFA group stage debut this season, having fallen to Celtic in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• Southampton are debuting in a UEFA competition group stage.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Southampton to Beer Sheva is around 3,700km, making this comfortably the longest trip in Saints's European history.

• The game is taking place the day after Beer-Sheva forward Lúcio Maranhão's 28th birthday.

• Former team-mates
Miguel Vítor (Beer-Sheva) & José Fonte (Southampton) – Benfica, 2007–08
Ben Sahar (Beer-Sheva) & Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) – Chelsea, 2006–09

• Miguel Vítor (Leicester, 2010–11) and Ben Sahar (Chelsea, 2006–09, including loan spells with QPR, 2007, Sheffield Wednesday, 2008 and Portsmouth, 2008) are the only Beer-Sheva players with English experience.

The coaches
• Beer-Sheva boss Barak Bakhar steered the club to their first Israeli championship in 2015/16, his first term in charge. He previously landed the 2013/14 Israeli Cup at the helm of Kiryat Shmona, where he had spent the bulk of his playing career as a defender.

• Frenchman Claude Puel was appointed by Southampton this summer. A one-club man, he spent his entire playing career with Monaco, claiming two league titles as a player and one more as a coach. He has since held the reins at LOSC, Lyon and – for the past four seasons – Nice.