UEFA Europa League – Skënderbeu-Partizan – Skënderbeu v Partizan background


Skënderbeu will bid to spark early birthday celebrations for coach Ilir Daja as they welcome Partizan in UEFA Europa League Group B.

Previous meetings
• These sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, and it is Skënderbeu’s first encounter with Serbian opponents.

• Partizan’s only past tie against an Albanian team came in the first round of the 1987/88 UEFA Cup, when they went out to Flamurtari – losing 2-0 away and winning 2-1 at home.

Highlights: Skenderbëu 1-1 Young Boys

Highlights: Skenderbëu 1-1 Young Boys

Form guide
• Skënderbeu are unbeaten in five European home games this season (W3 D2), but have not won any of their last four UEFA matches (D3 L1).

• Partizan are unbeaten in six UEFA away games (D2 L4) – their home record during the same spell is W1 D2 L3.

• Albanian Cup runners-up last term, Skënderbeu were the first Albanian side to contest a major UEFA group stage when they featured in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League.

• Serbian league and cup winners in 2016/17, Partizan have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage for the fifth time in the competition’s current incarnation, but are yet to progress to the round of 32.

Highlights: Partizan 2-3 Dynamo Kyiv

Highlights: Partizan 2-3 Dynamo Kyiv

Trivia and links
• The journey from Belgrade to Korce is around 460km.

• Partizan are the most-fouled team in the group stage, with 47 infringements against them in the first two matchdays.

• Skënderbeu coach Ilir Daja turns 51 the day after this match.

The coaches
• Appointed at the start of 2017, Ilir Daja led Skënderbeu to a losing appearance in the Albanian Cup final but then steered them into this group stage. A former midfielder with Tirana, he has guided Elbasan and Dinamo Tirana to domestic championships as a coach.

• Miroslav Djukić was assigned a second stint as Partizan coach in June 2017, having occupied the helm in 2007. The 48-times capped Yugoslavia sweeper played in Spain with Deportivo and Valencia, and spent much of the last decade coaching there too.

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