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.
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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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).