Athletic v Hertha background

Athletic Club and Hertha Berlin both have plenty to do if they are to move from the bottom half of the Group J table to the qualifying places in their final two matches.

Athletic can boost their Group J prospects on matchday five
Athletic can boost their Group J prospects on matchday five ©AFP/Getty Images

Athletic Club and Hertha Berlin both have work to do if they are to move from the bottom half of UEFA Europa League Group J to the top in their final two matches.

• Third-placed Athletic's fate cannot be sealed either way on matchday five, but a defeat for Hertha would end the German club's hopes of reaching the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The sides' first UEFA encounter on matchday one ended in a goalless draw at  Berlin's Olympiastadion.

• In their only pairing with Liga opponents prior to that, Hertha drew 1-1 at home to Barcelona in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League second group stage, but lost 3-1 at Camp Nou.

• Athletic's record in 11 European matches with German teams is W4 D3 L4. At home it is W2 D2 L1.

Form guide
• Athletic have won seven of their last eight European fixtures in Bilbao, the exception being the 1-0 defeat by Zorya on matchday two. That was the only one of their last 17 European home games in which they have failed to score.

• Hertha have lost their last four away matches in European competition, conceding ten goals and scoring just two.

• Seventh in Spain last term, Athletic have successfully negotiated five of their six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stages, including each of the last two. They were losing finalists in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup and 2011/12 UEFA Europa League.

• Sixth in Germany last season, Hertha made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage on their most recent appearance, in 2009/10, but were eliminated by Brøndby in last year's third qualifying round.

Highlights: Hertha 0-0 Athletic
Highlights: Hertha 0-0 Athletic

Links and trivia
• The journey from Berlin to Bilbao is around 1,600km.

• Athletic have let in 82 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final – more than any other club.

• Athletic's Raúl García was a 2009/10 UEFA Europa League winner with Atlético Madrid.

• Athletic's Aritz Aduriz top-scored in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League with ten goals, and became only the third player to reach 20 goals in the competition proper – after Radamel Falcao and Óscar Cardozo – when he struck the winner at home to Östersund on matchday four.

• Hertha's Salomon Kalou was a 2011/12 UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea.

• Athletic defender Unai Nuñez is suspended for this game after his red card at home to Östersund on matchday four.

The coaches
• Better known as 'Cuco', José Ángel Ziganda was a forward for Osasuna and Athletic Club, and guided the Pamplona side to the 2006/07 UEFA Cup semi-finals as coach. He was handed the Athletic job in May 2017 after a six-year spell as B team boss.

• Pál Dárdai joined Hertha as a player in 1997 and made a club-record 366 league appearances for Die Alte Dame. He coached Hertha's youth team – and his native Hungary's senior side – for a time before taking the main job at the Berlin club in 2015.

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