Hapoel Beer-Sheva are on a home winning streak in Europe this season, but are up against an FCSB side who have excelled so far in Group G.
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Hapoel Beer-Sheva are on a home winning streak in Europe this season, but are up against an FCSB side who have excelled so far in UEFA Europa League Group G.
• The teams are meeting for the first time, and it is Beer-Sheva's maiden encounter with a Romanian club.
• In their only past experience of Israeli opposition, FCSB played Maccabi Haifa in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage. They lost 5-0 in Haifa – their heaviest defeat in a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League game – but won the return match 4-2 and went on to qualify for the round of 32.
• UEFA Champions League qualifying included, Beer-Sheva have won all four of their European home games this season, scoring twice in each (three 2-1s and a 2-0).
• FCSB have won both of their Group G matches – their best-ever start to a UEFA group stage campaign.
• Beaten on away goals by Maribor in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Beer-Sheva are back in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a second straight season, having made it to the round of 32 in 2016/17.
• Defeated 5-1 on aggregate by Sporting CP in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, FCSB are competing in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a seventh time since the tournament assumed its current format in 2009/10 (a record they share with Salzburg). They have twice reached the knockout phase.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Bucharest to Beer Sheva is around 1,650km.
• Beer-Sheva's Anthony Nwakaeme (Universitatea Cluj 2009–13) and Hatem Elhamed (Dinamo Bucureşti 2015) both played in Romania.
• FCSB midfielder Mihai Pintilii played in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv (2015–16).
• Misses next match if booked: Loai Taha (Beer-Sheva).
• Appointed Beer-Sheva coach in 2015, Barak Bakhar promptly steered the club to their first title in 40 years, and successfully defended that crown in 2016/17. A defender, he spent his playing heyday at Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, whom he later coached.
• Nicolae Dică returned to FCSB as coach in May 2017, having served the club as a player in two previous spells, landing two titles – and a further one with CFR Cluj. The attacking midfielder also played in Italy, Greece and Turkey.