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Lokomotiv look to steam past Athletic

FC Lokomotiv Moskva welcome Athletic Club hoping to continue the rich vein of attacking form that has brought the Railwaymen three goals in each of their last four outings.

Lokomotiv celebrate
Lokomotiv celebrate ©Getty Images

FC Lokomotiv Moskva will look to keep up an impressive UEFA Europa League scoring record as they take on an Athletic Club side who are attempting to make it past the round of 32 for the first time.

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Lokomotiv's record in 12 games against Spanish sides reads W1 D3 L8 (W1 D2 L4 at home). That sole victory was a 2-0 win against Real Madrid CF in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Athletic's only experience of Russian opposition came in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round, when they drew 0-0 at FC Torpedo Moskva before winning the home leg 2-0.

Match background
• Lokomotiv scored three times in each of their last four UEFA Europa League games – three wins and a 5-3 matchday six defeat by RSC Anderlecht, which was the highest-scoring game of the group stage.

• The Railwaymen have not played in the spring phase of a UEFA competition since 2005/06, when Sevilla FC knocked them out of the UEFA Cup round of 32.

• A 4-2 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain FC in their final group stage fixture ended Athletic's six-game unbeaten run in this season's UEFA Europa League.

• The Bilbao side have reached the round of 32 for the third time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage; they lost out to FK Austria Wien in 2004/05 and Anderlecht in 2009/10.

Team facts
• Anderlecht's Matías Suárez is the competition's top scorer this season with seven goals. Lokomotiv's Dmitri Sychev is his nearest rival with six.

• Of Lokomotiv's 13 group stage goals, 11 came after the interval, five of them between the 61st and 75th minutes.

• Athletic have conceded 97 goals in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; this is their 78th game.

• Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz faced Lokomotiv in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage; his RCD Espanyol side won 1-0 in Moscow.

• Lokomotiv boast Spanish talent in the form of midfielder Alberto Zapater, who played in eight league games against Athletic for his hometown club Real Zaragoza, with the record W3 D2 L3.

• Loko striker Felipe Caicedo has played in Spain with Málaga CF, drawing 1-1 in his only game against Athletic, and Levante UD last season, while on loan from Manchester City FC; he scored in a 2-1 home defeat by Athletic, and featured as his side lost the return fixture 3-2 at San Mamés.

• Victor Obinna also played in Spain, on loan at Málaga, before moving to Moscow; his only game against Athletic ended in a 1-1 draw in Bilbao.

• Lokomotiv's Slovenian left-back Branko Ilič played for Real Betis Balompié from 2007 to 2009; his only game against Athletic ended in a 2-1 win for his side at San Mamés in 2007.

• Lokomotiv coach José Couceiro was in caretaker charge at Sporting Clube de Portugal for the latter part of 2010/11 before replacing Yuri Krasnozhan as Lokomotiv boss in July. Since coaching Portugal's Under-21s from 2006 to 2007, he has been in charge of FBK Kaunas, Lithuania and Gaziantepspor.

• Athletic's coach is former Argentina defender Marcelo Bielsa, who briefly led Espanyol in Spain in 1998 before taking charge of Argentina (1998–2004) and Chile (2007–11). This is his first season as a player or coach in UEFA club competition.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on AFC Ajax or Manchester United FC in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the second leg at home.

• Lokomotiv have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• Athletic have lost their only UEFA ties against both Ajax and United; they beat Ajax 2-0 at home in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round, but lost the away leg 3-0, and overcame United 5-3 at San Mamés in the 1956/57 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals but lost 3-0 in Manchester.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here: