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Dudelange v Milan facts

Dudelange are the first club from Luxembourg to reach a UEFA group stage, and first assignments come little bigger than AC Milan.

Milan will be looking to hit the ground running in Group F
Milan will be looking to hit the ground running in Group F ©Getty Images

David meets Goliath on matchday one of UEFA Europa League Group F as Dudelange celebrate becoming the first club from Luxembourg to participate in a European group stage by welcoming to the Stade Josy Barthel seven-time continental champions AC Milan.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have never met previously, with Dudelange yet to face Italian opposition.

• Milan have played six matches against clubs from Luxembourg, winning them all comfortably, but this is their first visit to the Grand Duchy for 46 years.

Form guide
• The premier force in Luxembourg since the turn of the millennium, Dudelange won their 14th national championship last season, completing a hat-trick of titles. They narrowly lost this season's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie against Hungary's Vidi but made historic amends by subsequently overcoming Drita, Legia Warszawa and, in the play-offs, CFR Cluj to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Dudelange's previous best European performance came in 2012/13, when they reached the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round before falling to Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the UEFA Europa League play-offs (1-3 home, 0-4 away).

• Since then Dudelange have lost only one of nine home games in Europe (W3 D5) and have scored twice in all three UEFA Europa League home fixtures this season (W2 D1).

Top ten goals of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League season

• A sixth-placed finish in Serie A last term earned Milan an automatic UEFA Europa League group stage berth. They also reached the final of the Coppa Italia, where they were beaten 4-0 by champions Juventus.

• The Rossoneri ended a three-season absence from Europe last season by playing 14 matches in the UEFA Europa League, going from the third qualifying round to the round of 16, where they lost home and away to Arsenal. They opened their group stage campaign with a 5-1 win at Austria Wien. Indeed, Milan have not lost a matchday one fixture since 1996/97, 2-3 at home to Porto, winning 12 and drawing three since then.

• Milan's away record in Europe last season was W4 D1 L2. In the group stage it was W1 D1 L1.

Links and trivia 
• Dudelange's experienced Serbian international defender Milan Biševac spent the second half of 2015/16 in Italy on loan at Lazio, featuring from start to finish in a 1-1 draw against the Rossoneri. Current Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia was his Lazio team-mate at the time and also played in that Serie A game.

The coaches
• The son of Klaus Toppmöller, the coach who led Bayer Leverkusen to the 2002 UEFA Champions League final, Dino had a lengthy career in Germany's lower leagues before ending it as a player-coach with Luxembourg side Hamm Benfica. Having steered the club to promotion, he joined Dudelange in 2016 and promptly won the Luxembourg double, adding a second league title in 2017/18 and then defying the odds to mastermind a landmark qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Gennaro Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella as Milan coach on 27 November 2017, earning promotion from the youth team. A legendary Rossoneri midfielder of grit and endeavour who played for the club from 1999 to 2012, racking up 468 appearances in all competitions, he won both Serie A and the UEFA Champions League twice and also lifted the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006. He led Milan to a sixth-place Serie A finish in 2017/18.