In the group stage for the second year running, Slavia begin with a repeat of their 1996 semi-final against Bordeaux.
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Slavia Praha's second successive UEFA Europa League group campaign begins with a home game against Bordeaux, a fixture that revives memories of a UEFA Cup semi-final won by the French side 22 years ago.
• That 1995/96 UEFA Cup semi-final is the only occasion that Slavia and Bordeaux have crossed paths. A Girondins side featuring Zinédine Zidane won both legs 1-0, the first of them in Prague's Strahov Stadium, to become the sixth French club to reach a European final and book a date with Bayern München which they lost 5-1 on aggregate.
• Slavia's only win in nine games against French opponents came earlier in that 1995/96 UEFA Cup run, when they defeated Lens 1-0 away. While they have not beaten a French club on home soil in five attempts, and fell to their heaviest home European defeat against LOSC Lille (1-5) in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage, Bordeaux are unbeaten and have not conceded on two visits to the Czech Republic.
• As runners-up to Viktoria Plzeň in the 2017/18 Czech Liga, Slavia earned a spot in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where defeat to Dynamo Kyiv (1-1 home, 0-2 away) sent them into the UEFA Europa League group stage. They also won the Czech Cup last term, defeating Jablonec 3-1 in the final.
• Slavia's two previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, in 2009/10 and 2017/18, both ended unsuccessfully, a shock matchday six home defeat to Astana ultimately halting their progress last season.
• The Prague club have not won any of their last three European home fixtures (D1 L2) and have just one home win in six attempts in the UEFA Europa League group stage (D2 L3).
• Sixth in Ligue 1 last season, Bordeaux were obliged to negotiate three qualifying ties in order to reach the UEFA Europa League proper. They did so in some style and unbeaten, winning home and away against Ventspils and Mariupol before seeing off Gent 2-0 on aggregate (0-0 away, 2-0 home) in the play-offs.
• Bordeaux have participated in three previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, reaching the round of 16 in 2012/13 but finishing bottom of their section in both 2013/14 and 2015/16. Last season they were eliminated in the third qualifying round on away goals by Hungary's Videoton.
• Although undefeated on the road in Europe this term, Bordeaux have won only once away from home in the UEFA Europa League proper (D4 L6), 2-1 at Club Brugge on matchday five in 2012/13.
Links and trivia
• The Girondins' 36-year-old midfielder Jaroslav Plašil is a former Czech Republic international, winning 103 caps between 2004 and 2016. Slavia striker Milan Škoda played alongside him on French soil at UEFA EURO 2016.
• Bordeaux are one of ten clubs in the 2018/19 group stage who have lost UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League finals, the others being Anderlecht, Lazio, Vidi, Salzburg, Arsenal, Celtic, Sporting CP, Rangers and, on three occasions, Marseille. Of that group only Anderlecht have lifted the trophy.
• Heavily influenced by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, Jindřich Trpišovský started out as a youth coach at Sparta Praha before impressing with his work at second-division Viktoria Žižkov despite financial problems. He then took over at Slovan Liberec in 2017, leading the club into the UEFA Europa League group stage two seasons running. He left Liberec for Slavia in December 2017 and won the Czech Cup with the Prague outfit the following spring.
• Éric Bedouet has a lengthy association with the Girondins, having first served on the club's coaching staff in the title-winning 1998/99 campaign. Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished fitness trainers in France, he also served the national team at UEFA EURO 2016. After standing in as Bordeaux's interim coach twice in 2018, following the departures of Jocelyn Gourvennec and Gus Poyet, he was confirmed as head coach on 5 September – the same day Ricardo Gomes was named as the club's new general manager.