Partizan v Skënderbeu background

Partizan and Skënderbeu are still seeking their first Group B victory having played out a goalless draw on matchday three and are in increasingly urgent need of points.

Partizan's Miroslav Vulićević (left) in matchday three action with Gledi Mici of Skënderbeu
Partizan's Miroslav Vulićević (left) in matchday three action with Gledi Mici of Skënderbeu ©AFP/Getty Images

After a goalless stalemate in Elbasan on 19 October, Partizan and Skënderbeu meet again with both clubs bidding to post their first victory in UEFA Europa League Group B.

• The two clubs are level on two points, five adrift of group leaders Dynamo Kyiv and one behind second-placed Young Boys.

Previous meetings
• The two sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday three; it was also Skënderbeu's first match against Serbian opponents.

• Partizan's only tie against an Albanian team prior to that Elbasan encounter had come in the first round of the 1987/88 UEFA Cup, when they went out to Flamurtari after losing 2-0 away and winning 2-1 at home.

Form guide
• Partizan's draw at Skënderbeu was their fifth in nine European games this season (W2 L2).

• The Belgrade club have won only one of their last seven UEFA matches in the Serbian capital (D2 L4), most recently surrendering a two-goal half-time lead to lose 3-2 at home to Dynamo Kyiv on matchday two.

• Skenderbëu have lost two of their five European away matches this season (W1 D2), including their opening fixture of the group stage – a 3-1 defeat at Dynamo Kyiv.

• Serbian league and cup winners in 2016/17, Partizan have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage for the fifth time in the competition's current incarnation, but are yet to progress to the round of 32.

• Albanian Cup runners-up last term, Skënderbeu were the first Albanian side to contest a major UEFA group stage when they featured in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League. They finished bottom of their section with three points (W1 L5).

Trivia and links
• The journey from Elbasan, where Skënderbeu are playing their European home games, to Belgrade is around 690km.

• Skënderbeu are one of three teams to have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage having begun their campaign in the first qualifying round; Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Partizan's city rivals Crvena zvezda are the others.

• Skënderbeu goalkeeper Orges Shehi is the ninth player over the age of 40 to have played in the UEFA Europa League and the oldest participant so far in this season's competition.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Ognjen Ožegović, Zoran Tošić and Leandre Tawamba (Partizan); Gledi Mici (Skënderbeu).

The coaches
• Appointed in January 2017, Ilir Daja led Skënderbeu to the Albanian Cup final, which they lost to KF Tirana, and then steered them into this group stage. A former midfielder with Tirana, he has guided Elbasan and Dinamo Tirana to domestic championships as a coach.

• Miroslav Djukić was assigned a second stint as Partizan coach in June 2017, having occupied the helm in 2007. The 48-times capped Yugoslavia sweeper played in Spain with Deportivo and Valencia, and spent much of the last decade coaching there too.

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