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Rio Ave make their bow as Dynamo arrive

UEFA Europa League debutants Rio Ave FC face a tough-looking opener as FC Dynamo Kyiv visit in Group J, though the Ukrainian side have a less than exemplary record in Portugal.

Serhiy Rebrov (right) enjoyed numerous European campaigns as a player with Dynamo
Serhiy Rebrov (right) enjoyed numerous European campaigns as a player with Dynamo ©Andrei Lukatskiy

First-timers Rio Ave FC will get a crash course in European football at the highest level as they welcome FC Dynamo Kyiv in their opening UEFA Europa League Group J game.

Form guide
Dynamo have won just once in seven trips to Portugal – 1-0 at FC Porto in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage – with five of those journeys ending in defeat.

Rio Ave have yet to lose (W1 D1) or concede a goal at home in European club competition.

Dynamo are competing in this group stage for a fourth time, having only once – in 2011/12 – failed to make it through to the round of 32.

Trivia and links
Rio Ave striker Ukra got his unusual nickname as a child because his long, fair hair supposedly made him look Ukrainian.

Rio Ave's Belarusian midfielder Renan Bressan is by far the most experienced European campaigner in their squad. He faced Dynamo twice with FC BATE Borisov in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. His side drew 2-2 in Kyiv but lost 4-1 at home.

Dynamo boast Portuguese talent in the form of Miguel Veloso. During his days at Sporting Clube de Portugal, the midfielder was a team-mate of Rio Ave left-back Tiago Pinto.

The coaches
• 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.

Dynamo coach Serhiy Rebrov formed a deadly attacking partnership with Andriy Shevchenko for the Bilo-Syni, though his goals dried up somewhat after moving abroad. Following retirement in 2009, Rebrov took a job with Dynamo's youth team, but became first team coach in May 2014 after a successful caretaker spell.

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