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Zorya vs Leicester: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings

Debutants Leicester City have already qualified for the round of 32 and will ensure top spot in Group D if they complete a double over Zorya Luhansk.

Leicester's Wesley Fofana under pressure from Zorya's Vladyslav Kabayev
Leicester's Wesley Fofana under pressure from Zorya's Vladyslav Kabayev Visionhaus

UEFA Europa League newcomers Leicester City have already qualified for the round of 32 and will ensure top spot in the group if they complete a double over their Ukrainian hosts Zorya Luhansk, who registered their first Group G points on Matchday 3 with a 3-0 win at AEK Athens.

• Leicester won their first three matches before coming from behind three times to draw 3-3 at Braga, Jamie Vardy completing the scoring in the fifth minute of added time. That result in Portugal, combined with Zorya's win in Greece, ensured the English side's qualification. Their Matchday 5 hosts can only stay in contention if they end Leicester's unbeaten run, but even a victory for Zorya will be futile if Braga win away to AEK.

Previous meetings

Highlights: Leicester 3-0 Zorya Luhansk

• Leicester marked their UEFA Europa League debut – and first game against Ukrainian opposition – with a 3-0 victory at home to Zorya, James Maddison getting the opening goal on his European debut before further strikes from Harvey Barnes – also his first in Europe – and Kelechi Iheanacho clinched the three points.

• Zorya's experience of English opposition before this season was limited to the two matches they played against Manchester United in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League, both ending in defeats (0-1 a, 0-2 h) against the eventual winners of the competition. They are therefore still seeking a first goal against a Premier League club.

Form guide
• Third in the 2019/20 Ukrainian Premier League, Zorya are featuring in European competition for the seventh successive season. Defeated at the play-off stage of the UEFA Europa League in four of the six previous campaigns, including last season when, under current coach Viktor Skrypnyk, they were ousted by Espanyol (1-3 a, 2-2 h), their league placing earned them direct access to the group stage this term – as it did for their two previous participations, in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

• Zorya finished bottom of their group, on two points, in 2016/17 and third, with six points, the following season. They have yet to experience European football in the spring.

• Zorya have won only one of their eight home matches in the UEFA Europa League group stage, losing five of the last six including both this season against Braga (1-2) and AEK (1-4).

• Leicester finished fifth in the 2019/20 Premier League to qualify for a first appearance in the UEFA Europa League and direct entry to the group stage.

• This is only the club's fifth European campaign. Their most successful was the most recent, in 2016/17, when, as champions of England, they made their debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League, topped their group and went on to reach the quarter-finals – the best performance by any English club in the competition that season – where they lost to Atlético de Madrid.

• Leicester's 2-1 win in Athens on Matchday 2 ended a run of three successive European away defeats. They have won only three of their 11 away fixtures in UEFA competition (D2 L6), the most impressive of them 3-0 at Club Brugge on their UEFA Champions League debut four seasons ago.

Links and trivia
• Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has now been successful in all three of his UEFA Europa League group campaigns, having previously led Liverpool to first place ahead of Anji, Young Boys and Udinese in 2012/13 and Celtic to a runners-up spot behind Salzburg but above RB Leipzig and Rosenborg in 2018/19. However, his four round of 32 ties – two with Liverpool (against Zenit in 2012/13 and Beşiktaş in 2014/15) and two with Celtic (against Zenit again in 2017/18 and Valencia in 2018/19) – all ended in elimination.

• Leicester are the only one of the 48 clubs who came into this season's group stage having never played a match in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included. They are also one of just six group stage debutants – alongside CSKA-Sofia (Group A), Granada and Omonoia (both E), Sivasspor (Group I) and Royal Antwerp (Group J) – and the first of them to secure progress to the knockout phase.