Maccabi Tel-Aviv v Dundalk background

Level on four points ahead of their meeting in Israel, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Dundalk both have hopes of progressing from Group D at the expense of AZ Alkmaar.

Action from Dundalk's home game with Maccabi on matchday two
Action from Dundalk's home game with Maccabi on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Dundalk still have hope of progressing from Group D as they meet in the final round of matches, with both looking to claim the second qualifying berth instead of AZ Alkmaar.

• Zenit have won the group with five straight victories so far. Second-placed AZ, on five points, will join them in the round of 32 if they win, if they draw and Maccabi-Dundalk is also drawn, or if they lose and this game ends 0-0.

• Dundalk and Maccabi are locked on four points, one behind AZ. Dundalk are through if they win and AZ do not, or if they have a score draw and AZ lose. Maccabi are through if they win and AZ do not.

Previous meetings
• Ciaran Kilduff marked his 28th birthday with the winner when the sides met on matchday two, that 1-0 success the first victory for an Irish club in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Just four matches have been played between Irish and Israeli representatives in UEFA club competition, with the Irish having the better of them (W2 D2).

Form guide
• M. Tel-Aviv and Gabala are the only teams to 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, in 2013/14.

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

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

• M. Tel-Aviv midfielder Gal Alberman is one game shy of 50 UEFA club competition appearances.

• Since the group stage began, Dundalk have confirmed their third successive Irish Premier Division title, though they lost 1-0 to Cork City in the FAI Cup final on 6 November. Their domestic season is over.

The coaches
• Maccabi's Georgian coach Shota Arveladze scored an impressive 32 goals in 64 UEFA club competition 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.

• Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny started his managerial career with Longford Town, aged 27, and won a league championship with Bohemians in 2002/03, aged 32. Hired by Dundalk in 2013, he has steered the club to Irish league crowns in 2014, 2015 and now 2016.

Chapecoense commemoration
Teams taking part in all of the matchday six UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League fixtures will observe a minute's silence to pay respect to the victims of last week's air disaster involving the Chapecoense team and accompanying delegation.

The Brazilian club lost most of their players and coaching staff in the accident, which occurred in Colombia, where Chapecoense were due to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional.

"European football is united in expressing its deepest sympathy to Chapecoense, the Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF], CONMEBOL and the families of all the victims," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. "This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it."

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