Feyenoord edged out Zorya in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League play-offs, but the manner of their defeat should spur the Ukrainian side as they return to Rotterdam in Group A.
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Feyenoord have reason to remember with fondness their only previous meetings with Zorya Luhansk, an added-time goal having thwarted their Ukrainian opponents, who will be out for revenge in Group A.
• In the sides' only past encounters, Yuriy Vernydub's Zorya lost to Fred Rutten's Feyenoord in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League play-offs; the teams drew 1-1 in Ukraine, before playing out an extraordinary return fixture in Rotterdam. Zorya levelled the scores after trailing 3-0 and were in sight of an away goals success when substitute Elvis Manu struck in stoppage time to make it 4-3 to the hosts.
• The line-ups for that game on 28 August 2014 were:
Feyenoord: Mulder, Wilkshire, Mathijsen (Manu 84), Kongolo*, Clasie (Achahbar 84), Immers, Başaçıkoğlu* (Nelom* 78), Te Vrede, Trindade*, Van Beek, Schaken.
Zorya: M Shevchenko, Chaykovskiy* (Hrystai 79), Kamenyuka*, Segbefia (Ljubenović* 66), Ignjatijević (Pysko 72), Malinovskiy, Karavaev*, Biliy, Budkivskiy, Khomchenovskiy, Pylyavskiy.
* registered to play for their clubs in this season's competition
• Those matches were Zorya's sole previous experience of Dutch opposition, while that return fixture was Feyenoord's solitary victory in six meetings with Ukrainian sides (W1 D2 L3 – W1 D1 L1 in Rotterdam).
• Feyenoord have won five of their last six European home games. They last featured in this competition in 2014/15, making the round of 32, where a 2-1 home reverse to Roma ended their challenge.
• Feyenoord have lifted the UEFA Cup twice, in 1973/74 and 2001/02.
• This is Zorya's debut UEFA group stage campaign.
• Zorya's eight European away matches to date have ended W4 D1 L3.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Luhansk to Rotterdam is around 2,500km, though Zorya are playing their European home fixtures in Odesa, just shy of 2,000km from Feyenoord's home city.
• Feyenoord's squad go into the game with 358 UEFA club competition appearances between them, compared with Zorya's 173. They are also 47-9 ahead in terms of goals.
• Giovanni van Bronckhorst steered Feyenoord to Dutch Cup glory last season, his first in charge of his old club. As a player, the former Netherlands captain landed league championships with Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona, also scooping the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League with the Catalans.
• Yuriy Vernydub has occupied the Zorya helm since stepping up from his role as assistant coach in November 2011. A Russian Cup winner with Zenit in 1999, towards the end of his playing career, he guided Zorya to a fourth-placed finish in Ukraine last term.
• Vernydub's son Vitaliy is playing in this season's group stage for Gabala.