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Wolfsburg v Everton background

A place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 is the prize on offer for the winners as VfL Wolfsburg and Everton FC battle for top spot in Group H on matchday five.

Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne up against Everton's Seamus Coleman
Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne up against Everton's Seamus Coleman ©Getty Images

After a big home win on matchday four, VfL Wolfsburg will look to end their losing streak against English sides when Everton FC visit in the battle of the Group H frontrunners.

Form guide
• A 4-1 defeat by Everton on matchday one means Wolfsburg have lost their last five games – home and away – against English clubs; Everton are yet to lose in six encounters with Bundesliga sides (W1 D2 in Germany).

Wolfsburg are unbeaten in two European home matches (W1 D1) since their last English visitors, Fulham FC, prevailed 1-0 in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals; Everton are without a win in three European away games (D2 L1).

Everton made it through to the knockout phase in both of their previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Wolfsburg's 5-1 defeat of FC Krasnodar on matchday four matched the margin of their biggest ever previous UEFA competition victory. Oddly, it came six years to the day after their only previous 5-1 European home win – against sc Heerenveen in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.

Trivia and links
Everton's Romelu Lukaku, Samuel Eto'o and Christian Atsu were on the books at Chelsea FC alongside Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne.

Wolfsburg's Danish forward Nicklas Bendtner also knows plenty about English football, having been an Arsenal FC player between 2005 and 2014, when he joined his current club.

Everton's Arouna Koné (Hannover 96, 2010) and Steven Pienaar (Borussia Dortmund, 2006-08) have Bundesliga experience, along with their Bosnian international club-mate Muhamed Bešić, who was born in Berlin and started his career at Hamburger SV.

The coaches
• At one stage a lower-league midfielder and trainee policeman, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking is back in Europe for the first time since leading second-tier TSV Alemannia Aachen into the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage. More recently, he has coached Hannover 96 and 1. FC Nürnberg, taking up his current post in December 2012.

Everton's attack-minded Spanish manager Roberto Martínez was a fine midfielder in the English lower leagues with the likes of Wigan Athletic FC and Swansea City AFC, and coached both clubs with great success, notably winning the 2012/13 FA Cup with the Latics before taking charge of Everton in June 2013.

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