Borussia Dortmund have not won a European game in 2017/18 and could face a tough task to improve that record against an Atalanta side who are unbeaten in this season's competition.
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Borussia Dortmund, who finished third in their UEFA Champions League section, are seeking their first European victory of the season as they host unbeaten Group E winners Atalanta in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• The two clubs are worlds apart in terms of their European experience, but it is the Italian side, appearing in only their fifth UEFA campaign, who have been the more impressive continental performers in 2017/18.
• The two clubs have never met in European competition.
• Dortmund have faced Italian opposition on 31 occasions, with their record standing at W10 D4 L17. They have yet to face a Serie A side in the UEFA Europa League, but their most recent UEFA Cup tie against a team from Italy resulted in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Udinese in the 2008/09 first round after both clubs had won 2-0 away.
• Dortmund's overall UEFA Cup record against Italian opposition in two-legged knockout ties is W3 L4. The losses include a 6-1 aggregate defeat by Juventus in the 1992/93 final.
• The German's club's knockout record against Serie A sides in UEFA competition overall is W3 L8. Their most recent tie was a 5-1 aggregate loss against Juve in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (1-2 away, 0-3 home).
• Atalanta's only previous tie against German opponents came in 1990/91 – their most recent European campaign until this one – when they ousted Köln 2-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup third round (1-1 away, 1-0 home).
• Dortmund are without a victory in eight European matches (D2 L6) and have suffered three defeats in their last four at home.
• The German club registered just two points in their autumn UEFA Champions League campaign but managed to take third place in Group H on goal difference ahead of Cypriot club APOEL. It was the first time in 13 group campaigns in that competition that they failed to register a win.
• The Schwarzgelben reached the quarter-finals in their most recent UEFA Europa League adventure, in 2015/16, having defeated FC Porto 2-0 at home and 1-0 away in the round of 32. Their home record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W2 D1.
• One of only four teams who came through this season's UEFA Europa League group stage undefeated (W4 D2), Atalanta recorded their biggest away win in Europe on matchday five when they overcame Everton 5-1 at Goodison Park.
• Nevertheless, the Bergamo side have won only two of their 12 away games in European competition (D5 L5).
• Dortmund qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League after finishing third in the 2016/17 Bundesliga. They also won the German Cup last term, defeating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in the Berlin final.
• Fourth in Serie A last season, Atalanta are competing in Europe for the first time since 1990/91, when they were eliminated by Internazionale in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Michy Batshuayi, Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho
Out: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eike Bansen, Marc Bartra, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Till Schumacher, Janni-Luca Serra, Neven Subotić
In: Musa Barrow, Dejan Kulusevski, Luca Rizzo
Out: Jasmin Kurtič, Riccardo Orsolini, Luca Vido
Links and trivia
• Sokratis Papastathopoulos represented Genoa (2008–10) and Milan (2010/11) in Serie A; at Genoa he was coached by current Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini.
• Atalanta defender Robin Gosens is German, but he has never played in the Bundesliga.
• Dortmund's Roman Bürki and Atalanta's Remo Freuler are international team-mates for Switzerland.
• Mario Götze (Germany) and Shinji Kagawa (Japan) have both scored international goals against Italy.
• New Dortmund coach Peter Stöger was in charge of Köln in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, leaving before matchday six.
• No German or Italian club has ever reached a UEFA Europa League final.
• Suspended for next match if booked: Julian Weigl (Dortmund); Andrea Masiello, Josip Iličić (Atalanta).
• Peter Stöger was appointed to replace Peter Bosz as Dortmund coach on 10 December 2017 – a week after he was dismissed by Köln, where he had been in charge for four and a half years. A four-time league champion as a player in his native Austria, with 65 international caps, he moved to Germany after steering Austria Wien to the 2012/13 title.
• A one-time Juventus youth player, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini mostly played in Italy's lower divisions but worked his way up to the top tier as a coach, leading Inter, Genoa and Palermo before taking his current job in 2016. He led the Bergamo outfit to fourth place in Serie A last term, bringing European qualification for the first time in 27 years.