Rio Ave FC are eager to bring their maiden European campaign to a positive conclusion as they play host to Aalborg BK in their final UEFA Europa League Group J game.
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Rio Ave FC will hope to secure a first win in their final UEFA Europa League Group J fixture, with Aalborg BK eager to avoid a doomsday scenario on matchday six.
• Rio Ave are destined to finish bottom of the section.
• AaB will be through with a victory, or if Steaua (who have a superior head-to-head) are unable to take three points; however, they can also finish third if they drop points and Steaua win.
• Nicklas Helenius's header gave AaB a 1-0 win against Rio Ave on matchday two.
• Rio Ave's record in four UEFA home games is W1 D2 L1; AaB have lost their last three European away fixtures without scoring, conceding 12 goals in the process.
Trivia and links
• By far the most experienced European campaigner in the Rio Ave squad, Belarusian midfielder Renan Bressan has scored 12 UEFA club competition goals – more than all of his team-mates' combined eight, and twice as many as Rio Ave have scored in their maiden European campaign to date.
• This is Rio Ave's debut season in European competition; they qualified as losing Portuguese Cup finalists – going down 1-0 to SL Benfica in the decider, having also lost 2-0 to the same opponents in the Portuguese League Cup final.
• AaB are among ten national champions in the group stage along with GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Steaua Bucureşti (Romania), AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic), HJK Helsinki (Finland), ŠK Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), FC Salzburg (Austria) and Celtic FC (Scotland).
• As a defensive midfielder, Rio Ave coach Pedro Martins' career peaked during a three-year spell at Sporting – during which he earned, in 1997, his only cap for Portugal. As a coach, he worked his way up the leagues, joining Rio Ave in 2014 after a four-year stint at CS Marítimo.
• Kent Nielsen led AaB to a domestic double in 2013/14 after taking command in 2010. Having turned out – like his father and brother – for Bronshøj BK, Nielsen won titles with Brøndby IF and played abroad with Aston Villa FC. Capped 54 times, he coached AGF Aarhus, AC Horsens and Brøndby before taking up his current role.