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Fiorentina v PAOK background

Fiorentina are within sight of the round of 32 as they welcome PAOK in Group J, the Greek club having scored just once in the course of their last four matches in Italy.

Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinić backs into PAOK's Fernando Varela
Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinić backs into PAOK's Fernando Varela ©AFP/Getty Images

Fiorentina are inching towards the round of 32 as they welcome PAOK on matchday five, with the Salonika side out to regain their Group J balance after back-to-back defeats.

• Fiorentina are through with a draw; PAOK must win, or draw and hope Qarabağ lose away to Slovan Liberec to maintain their hopes.

• Qarabağ qualify with a victory or with a draw if PAOK do not win; Liberec need three points to stay in contention.

Previous meetings
• PAOK held Fiorentina to a 0-0 draw in the teams' first Group J encounter on matchday one.

• The clubs had previously met in the 2014/15 group stage, Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina winning 1-0 in Greece before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture against Angelos Anastasiadis's men. The line-ups for the match in Florence on 6 November 2014 were:
Fiorentina: Tătăruşanu, Rodríguez, Vargas (Valero 70), Pizarro, Kurtič, Basanta, Pasqual, Lazzari (Marin 57), Gomez, Tomović (Babacar 86).
PAOK: Glykos, Katsikas, Tziolis, Golasa, Pereyra (Maduro 46), Salpingidis (Martens 71), Miguel Vítor, Spyropoulos (Tzavellas 90), Tzandaris, Athanasiadis.

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

• PAOK's overall record against Serie A sides is W1 D5 L7 (D2 L4 in Italy). They have scored just once in their five matches in Italy.

Form guide
• Fiorentina are unbeaten in seven group stage fixtures (W5 D2).

• PAOK have lost only one of their four European away games this season (W2 D1 L1) – 2-0 at Qarabağ on matchday three.

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

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

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

• PAOK's Mame Baba Thiam (Internazionale, Lanciano, Juventus), José Angel Crespo (Padova, Bologna and Verona) and Željko Brkić (Udinese, Siena, Cagliari and Carpi) have all played for Italian clubs.

The coaches
• 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.

• 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.