Dundalk v Maccabi Tel-Aviv background

Dundalk are out to become the first Irish side to win a UEFA Europa League group stage game as they meet a Maccabi Tel-Aviv still recovering from a grisly Group D opener.

Ciaran Kilduff after scoring Dundalk's equaliser on matchday one
Ciaran Kilduff after scoring Dundalk's equaliser on matchday one ©Sportsfile

Dundalk will look to build on an unexpected point gained on matchday one as they play host to Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the Israeli side having been on the wrong end of a phenomenal comeback in their opener.

Previous meetings
• The teams are meeting for the first time. Neither has faced other clubs from their opponents' home country.

• Just three games have been played between Irish and Israeli representatives in UEFA club competition; two of those ended in draws while in the most recent one, Shamrock Rovers beat Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv 1-0 away in 2010/11 UEFA Europa League qualifying.

Form guide
• Dundalk are making their UEFA group stage debut. The only Irish side to have previously graced a UEFA Europa League group stage are Shamrock Rovers, who lost all six of their matches in 2011/12.

• Dundalk thus became the first Irish team to take a point from a UEFA group stage fixture when they drew 1-1 at AZ Alkmaar on matchday one.

• Maccabi made a disastrous start on matchday one, allowing a 3-0 lead to slip in the closing stages and going down 4-3 at home to Zenit.

• Maccabi and Qäbälä are the only sides who have made it from the first qualifying round to the group stage in the current UEFA Europa League.

• Maccabi have qualified for the round of 32 in one of their two previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, 2013/14.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Tel Aviv to Dundalk is around 4,050km.

• With five goals, Dundalk's David McMillan was the joint-top scorer in UEFA Champions League qualifying this season.

• Scorer of his team's equaliser in the Netherlands on matchday one, Dundalk forward Ciaran Kilduff turns 28 the day of the Maccabi game.

• Dundalk are playing their Group D home fixtures at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin, normally the home of Shamrock Rovers.

The coaches
• Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny started his managerial career with Longford Town, aged 27, and landed a league title with Bohemians in 2002/03, aged 32. Hired by Dundalk in 2013, he steered the club to Irish championships in 2014 and 2015.

• Maccabi's Georgian coach Shota Arveladze hit an impressive 32 goals in 64 UEFA club matches as a player, lifting league titles with Ajax, Rangers and Trabzonspor. He is in his first term in Israel having spent the last five years coaching in Turkey.