Lokomotiv the first test for AEK Athens' new coach

FC Lokomotiv Moskva denied their visitors a semi-final place the last time the two sides met but AEK Athens FC will be spurred on by the arrival of new coach Nikos Kostenoglou.

Dmitri Sychev was on target in Lokomotiv's victory at Sturm on matchday one
Dmitri Sychev was on target in Lokomotiv's victory at Sturm on matchday one ©Getty Images

Having denied AEK Athens FC a semi-final place the last time the sides met, FC Lokomotiv Moskva will hope to get the better of the Greek club again in UEFA Europa League Group L.

Previous meetings
• The teams met in the quarter-finals of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, with Igor Chugainov's late goal in the second leg putting Yuri Semin's Lokomotiv through to the last four.

• The lineups for that match on 19 March 1998 were:
Lokomotiv: Nigmatullin, Solomatin, Kharlachev, Arifullin, Chugainov, Gurenko, Cherevchenko, Maminov, Garas, Loskov (Janashia 25), Kosolapov.
AEK: Atmatzidis, Machairidis, Kasapis, Kostenoglou, Maladenis, Savevski (Sebwe 65), Nikolaidis, Grétarsson, Kalitzakis, Manolas.

• Of the players involved in that game, Lokomotiv's midfielder Dmitri Loskov – at 37 – is the only one still playing at their respective clubs, while AEK midfielder Arnar Grétarsson is now the club's technical director.

• AEK's new coach Nikos Kostenoglou was involved in the AEK defence, while his former team-mate Stelios Manolas is the uncle of current AEK defender Kostas Manolas.

• After the match, Loskov said: "That was once in a lifetime kind of match. After the injury I was very nervous [he was replaced on 25 minutes]; you don't get that nervous on the pitch. Now I understand better what the coach goes through during such games. Me and the rest of subs believed until the very last second that we could win. I can't describe what I felt when Chugainov scored that goal."

• In that 1997/98 campaign, Lokomotiv went down 3-1 on aggregate to VfB Stuttgart, who subsequently went on to lose the final 1-0 against Chelsea FC.

Match background
• In addition to their ties against AEK, Lokomotiv lost a 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage tie 2-0 at Panathinaikos FC, meaning their record in three games against Greek sides is W1 D1 L1 (W1 D0 L0 at home).

• The return leg will be played at the OACA Spiros Louis Stadium, where Lokomotiv lost that game to Panathinaikos on their last visit to Greece.

• AEK's 11 matches against Russian teams ended W2 D3 L6 (W0 D2 L3 in Russia).

• Lokomotiv's record in six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage home ties is W2 D1 L3.

• AEK have won just once in their last five European away trips, also recording a draw and three defeats in that run. Their record in 11 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage away games is W2 D1 L8.

Team facts
• Lokomotiv coach José Couceiro was in caretaker charge at Sporting Clube de Portugal for the latter part of the 2010/11 season before replacing Yuri Krasnozhan as Lokomotiv boss in July. Since coaching Portugal's Under-21s from 2006 to 2007, he has been in charge at FBK Kaunas, Lithuania and Gaziantepspor.

• AEK parted company with Spanish coach Manuel Jiménez by mutual consent in early October. Kostenoglou – who made over 220 league appearances for AEK between 1994 and 2005 – has been named as his replacement.

• The 41-year-old started his coaching career in the club's youth system before assisting Lorenzo Serra Ferrer and, when the Spaniard was dismissed, taking over as caretaker until the end of 2007/08. He was most recently in charge of Larissa FC (2011), following a spell with Asteras Tripolis FC (2008-09).