Top of Group A with maximum points, Sevilla's bid for a record fourth title continues at home to Dudelange.
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Top of Group A with six points from their first two matches, Sevilla's bid for a record fourth UEFA Europa League title continues with a home fixture against Dudelange, the champions of Luxembourg travelling to the Andalusian city in October for the second successive year.
• Matchday 1 conquerors of Qarabağ in Baku (3-0), Sevilla doubled their points tally with a home win against APOEL, Javier Hernández striking the only goal after 17 minutes. Dudelange, meanwhile, failed to build on a dramatic opening 4-3 win in Cyprus as they went down 1-4 at home to Qarabağ two weeks later.
• This is Sevilla's first UEFA competition fixture against a team from Luxembourg.
• Dudelange's only previous encounters with Spanish opposition came last season when they faced Sevilla's city rivals Betis in their UEFA Europa League group, losing 3-0 in southern Spain before bowing out with a 0-0 draw in Luxembourg that brought them their only point of the campaign.
• Sevilla played 16 UEFA Europa League matches last season, progressing from the second qualifying round to the round of 16, where they were dramatically eliminated by Slavia Praha after a 4-3 extra-time defeat in the Czech capital. Sevilla had topped Group J with 12 points, scoring 18 goals – the most in the group stage.
• The Andalusian club re-qualified for this competition by finishing sixth in the 2018/19 Liga, which assured them an automatic group stage berth and a fifth appearance at this juncture. They have never failed to go through to the round of 32, though have been group winners only twice.
• Sevilla had won 18 successive UEFA Europa League matches at home to non-Spanish opposition, qualifying included, before drawing 2-2 against Slavia last season. Their group stage record in Seville is W9 D3 L1, with no defeats in the last 12, victories in all of the last seven and clean sheets in the last three. They scored 14 goals in their three home group fixtures last season.
• The premier force in Luxembourg since the turn of the millennium, Dudelange won their 15th national championship last season to make it four in a row. They also shone in continental competition, becoming the first club from Luxembourg to reach a European group stage when they beat CFR Cluj home and away in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Like last season, Dudelange lost their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie – albeit only on away goals to Valletta (2-2 h, 1-1 a) – but once again impressed in the UEFA Europa League preliminaries, eliminating Shkëndija of North Macedonia and Estonia's Nõmme Kalju before seeing off Ararat-Armenia on penalties in the play-offs.
• The Matchday 1 victory at APOEL was their third outside Luxembourg this season (D1 L1) and also ended a run of three successive away defeats in the group stage. Dudelange have conceded 16 goals in their four away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League proper.
Links and trivia
• Dudelange coach Bertrand Crasson won his fifth international cap in March 1995 at Sevilla's Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, coming on as a late substitute to help Belgium claim a 1-1 draw against Spain in a EURO '96 qualifier.
• Sevilla, who lifted the trophy three years running from 2013/14–2015/16, are one of three former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's group stage, along with Porto and Manchester United.
• Sevilla appointed Julen Lopetegui as their head coach on a three-year contract in June 2019, the former goalkeeper returning to duty in the Spanish Liga after a brief spell in charge of Real Madrid had swiftly ended in October 2018. A highly successful stint with Spain's youth selections brought European titles with the Under-19s in 2012 and U21s the following year. He had 18 months at Porto before taking charge of the senior Spain side and qualifying them for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only to be dismissed on the eve of the tournament.
• Crasson stepped into the breach at Dudelange ahead of Matchday 1 after his compatriot Emilio Ferrera's short reign ended on 17 September. A defender during his playing days, Crasson won 26 caps for Belgium and appeared at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, while also enjoying lengthy stints at Anderlecht either side of a two-year stay in Italy with Napoli. He joined Dudelange's coaching staff in September 2019, swiftly finding himself in temporary charge following Ferrera's departure.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Europa League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.