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Steaua v Rio Ave background

FC Steaua Bucureşti are the top scorers in the UEFA Europa League group stage so far and will look to add to their tally against Rio Ave FC in Group J.

Steaua's competition record hat-trick scorer Claudiu Keșerü
Steaua's competition record hat-trick scorer Claudiu Keșerü ©Getty Images

FC Steaua Bucureşti secured a record-breaking result in their last UEFA Europa League home game and will look to maintain that momentum against Rio Ave FC in Group J.

Form guide
Steaua have drawn both of their previous home games against Portuguese sides and have yet to beat a Portuguese team in UEFA competition.

Steaua are unbeaten in six European home fixtures (W4 D2) and have won all four of their UEFA encounters in Bucharest this season.

Steaua are currently the highest scoring side in the group stage, having notched seven goals in their two outings.

• European debutants Rio Ave have yet to score more than once in any UEFA away game.

Trivia and links
Rio Ave's Brazilian right-back Lionn played in Romania with CFR 1907 Cluj.

Steaua striker Raul Rusescu played in Portugal last season for SC Braga.

Steaua's Cape Verde international defender Fernando Varela was born in Portugal – Cascais – and played for Estoril Praia, CD Trofense and CD Feirense before moving to Romania.

Rio Ave's Belarusian midfielder Renan Bressan has scored 12 goals in UEFA club competition – more than twice as many as the rest of his club-mates' combined total of five.

Steaua's 6-0 win against Aalborg BK on matchday one matched their best previous European result – a 6-0 defeat of BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup on 3 October 1979.

• Claudiu Keșerü's 12-minute hat-trick in that match was the fastest in UEFA Europa League history (Liverpool FC's Steven Gerrard had held the record with a 13-minute treble against SSC Napoli in 2010/11).

• It was also the first UEFA Europa League match (group stage to final game) in which a team had scored six goals.

The coaches
Steaua coach Constantin Gâlcă was capped 68 times as a midfielder and played in Spain with RCD Mallorca, RCD Espanyol and Villarreal CF among others after making his name at Steaua. He took charge of his old club in June 2014 following a spell working as Romania's Under-17 coach.

• 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.

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