Steve McClaren will hope his latest meeting with Hannover 96 has more positive consequences than the last as his FC Twente side start their UEFA Europa League Group L campaign.
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FC Twente boss Steve McClaren will hope his latest meeting with Hannover 96 has more positive consequences than the last as the sides square up in UEFA Europa League Group L.
• The sides are meeting for the first time and this is also Hannover's first game against a Dutch club.
• Twente's 17 UEFA games against German sides have ended W4 D5 L8 (W3 D3 L3 at home – W1 D2 L5 in Germany). Those matches include their only UEFA final, in which they drew 0-0 away and were beaten 5-1 at home by VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the two-legged 1974/75 UEFA Cup decider.
• The Enschede club are taking on German opponents in Europe for the fifth season in succession: in 2008/09 they beat FC Schalke 04 2-1 at home in the UEFA Cup group stage; in 2009/10 they lost 4-2 on aggregate to SV Werder Bremen in the UEFA Europa League round of 32; in 2010/11 they drew 1-1 at home and won 2-0 away against the same opponents in the UEFA Champions League group stage; in 2011/12, Schalke eliminated them in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, again 4-2 on aggregate.
• Twente are unbeaten in their last four home games against German sides – three wins by one-goal margins and a draw.
• Twente's next goal will be their 200th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 129th UEFA competition game.
• Rosenborg BK and Twente are the only sides who have battled their way to the group stage all the way from the first qualifying round.
• This is Twente's fourth campaign in this group stage, with all three of their previous efforts ending in qualification for the round of 32.
• Twente are unbeaten in 11 European home games (nine wins and two draws) since a 3-1 loss to Villarreal CF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.
• Hannover have won all four of their European games this season, scoring 15 goals in the process.
• Hannover returned to UEFA competition after a 19-year absence last season and made it through to the knockout phase in their first UEFA Europa League campaign, losing 2-1 home and away against eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid in the quarter-finals.
• Twente's Leroy Fer and Bořek Dočkal of Rosenborg were the highest scorers in qualifying with six goals each, with Twente's Nacer Chadli one of five players to register five times in the preliminary rounds.
• Twente's Dmitri Bulykin (Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2007–08, Fortuna Düsseldorf 2009/10), Rasmus Bengtsson (Hertha BSC Berlin 2009–10) and Edson Braafheid (FC Bayern München 2009–10, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2011–12) have all played in Germany.
• Twente coach Steve McClaren kicked off a second spell in charge at the club in January, having won the 2009/10 Eredivisie title in his first spell before joining VfL Wolfsburg. A midfielder in the English lower leagues, he assisted Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United FC, then coached Middlesbrough FC to the 2005/06 UEFA Cup final, before embarking on an short-lived spell as England manager.
• Hannover coach Mirko Slomka played for the club and coached their youth teams before taking charge of the first team in January 2010. He previously enjoyed success in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage, leading Schalke from the round of 32 to the semi-finals after replacing Ralf Rangnick as coach following the group phase.
• The coaches met twice in the 2010/11 Bundesliga: McClaren's Wolfsburg secured their first league win of the season when they beat Hannover 2-0 at home on 18 September 2010, but the Englishman was dismissed two days after a 1-0 loss away against Slomka's side, which took place on 5 February 2011.