København v Slavia Praha background

København are unbeaten in ten European games this season as they welcome Slavia Praha to Denmark.

Pieros Sotiriou (left) after scoring for København on matchday two
Pieros Sotiriou (left) after scoring for København on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Unbeaten in ten European games this season, FC København host Slavia Praha with a one-point advantage over their Czech visitors in UEFA Europa League Group C.

• The club from the Danish capital scored a late winner at Bordeaux (2-1) to add to an opening 1-1 home draw with Zenit, while Slavia were defeated 1-0 in St Petersburg on matchday two after kicking off their group campaign with a victory by the same score at home to Les Girondins.

Previous meetings
• There have been no previous matches between the clubs in UEFA competition.

• While Slavia's one tie against Danish opposition to date brought a 5-0 aggregate win over AB in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup first round, FCK have a mixed record in 12 matches against Czech clubs, particularly at home where they have won two, drawn two and lost two. However, their biggest home and away wins in the UEFA League proper have both come against Czech opposition – 3-0 at Sparta Praha in 2009/10 (Dame N'Doye scoring twice during his first spell at the club) and 3-0 at home to Zlín last season.

Highlights: Bordeaux 1-2 København
Highlights: Bordeaux 1-2 København

Form guide
København
• FCK were dethroned as Danish champions last season, missing out on a third successive title and ensuring an 18th successive European campaign only after a post-season play-off win. They are one of only four clubs to have reached this season's UEFA Europa League group stage after beginning their campaign in the first qualifying round, the other three being Apollon Limassol, Rangers and Sarpsborg. A penalty shoot-out win took them past Atalanta after two goalless draws in the play-offs.

• The Danish club are taking part in a sixth UEFA Europa League group stage and have progressed twice before, most recently last season when they lost in the round of 32 to eventual winners Atlético Madrid (1-4 home, 0-1 away). They had gone a round further in 2016/17 after crossing over from the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• That home defeat by Atlético is the only loss in their last 11 European fixtures at Parken (W6 D4). FCK had not conceded in six successive group stage encounters at the venue until Zenit found the net there on matchday one.

Slavia
• 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.

Highlights: Zenit 1-0 Slavia Praha
Highlights: Zenit 1-0 Slavia Praha

• The 1-0 loss at Zenit last time out means the Prague club have won only one of their last 23 European away fixtures (D10 L12) – 2-0 at Maccabi Tel-Aviv in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, when they were unbeaten on their travels, drawing the other two games at Astana (1-1) and Villarreal (2-2).

Links and trivia
• København's Czech defender Michael Lüftner is a former Slavia player, having spent half a season with the Prague club before leaving for Copenhagen in May 2017.

• FCK's Czech-born Slovakian international midfielder Ján Greguš also has experience of the Czech Liga, having played for Nitra, Baník Ostrava and Jablonec. His record in eight games against Slavia was W3 D4 L1.

• This is Ståle Solbakken's 29th match as FCK coach in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final. Only three other coaches have taken charge of more games in the competition with one club – Unai Emery (Sevilla, 39), Jorge Jesus (Benfica, 38) and Kurban Berdyev (Rubin, 32).

The coaches
• Solbakken's second coaching tenure at København began in 2013. He has won seven Danish titles in charge of FCK, five of those in his first spell from 2006 to 2011. The former Norway midfielder won 58 caps and scored nine goals for his country, appearing at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, and had short spells coaching in Germany (with Köln) and England (with Wolves) in between his two lengthy stints in the Danish capital.

• 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.

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