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  • Slovan Bratislava will begin their league season on July 24th. They have won the last 3 league titles in Slovakia, with 2 consecutive doubles.

  • Slovan are the most successful club in the country with 15 leagues and 17 Cups since the Slovak Super Liga was formed in 1993. Before that they had won 8 Czechoslovak leagues and 5 Cups.

  • The only Slovan Bratislava player at Euro 2020 was 31-year-old Slovakian winger Vladimir Weiss. His father, also named Vladimir Weiss, is the Slovan manager.

  • Weiss is in his 2nd spell in charge of Slovan having guided them to the 2011 Europa League group stages; leading Slovakia to the last 16 of the World Cup a year earlier.

  • The Slovan captain is 33-year-old Bulgarian international defender Vasil Bozhikov. Their top league scorer last season was 25-year-old Brazilian forward Rafael Ratão with 14 goals.

  • The 1st leg will be played at the 22,500 capacity Tehelné pole, the same venue where Slovakia beat Ireland on penalties in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final.

  • Slovan’s UEFA coefficient ranking prior to the 2021–22 season is 152nd. In association rankings, Slovakia are in 30th place, compared to Ireland in 42nd.

  • Last year, Slovan forfeited their Champions League tie with KÍ (Faroe Islands) and then lost to KuPS (Finland) on penalties in the Europa League. The Slovak champions won the 1969 Cup Winners’ Cup and they have reached 3 group stages in their history – the Europa League in 2011, 2014 and 2019.

  • This is Shamrock Rovers’ 1st encounter with Slovak opposition in Europe and the 1st ever meeting between League of Ireland and Slovak clubs in the Champions League.

  • Sligo’s 1-1 draw with Spartak Trnava in 2012, with a last minute Jason McGuinness equaliser at the Showgroynds, is Ireland’s only positive result in 8 games.

  • Gary O’Neill and Dylan Watts played for UCD against Slovan in 2015. In 2019, when the club were celebrating their 100th year, Slovan beat a Dundalk side which included Sean Gannon and Sean Hoare.

  • Rovers have qualified for Europe for a 7th successive season. Their best run was 8 from 1962 to 1969 and the League of Ireland record is held by Shelbourne from 1995 to 2006.

  • This is Rovers’ 1st Champions League appearance since 2012 when the Hoops lost to Ekranas. Gary McCabe scored a penalty in the 2nd leg in Lithuania and Rovers’ only other goal in the competition was Chris Turner against Flora Tallinn in 2011.

  • The away goals rule has been abolished in UEFA club competitions. Rovers lost a 1984 European Cup tie with Linfield on away goals but beat Cork City in the 2013 Setanta Cup that way. The Hoops also won 3 trophies on corners – the 1943 Inter-City Cup final and the 1956 and 1959 Dublin City Cup finals.

  • Alan Mannus and Liam Scales are the only Rovers players to start all 20 competitive games so far this season. Rovers have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 10 league games, against Longford in May.

  • Rovers haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 European games since Stjarnan in Tallaght in 2017. It equals the run from 2011 which included 6 group stage games.

  • Alan Mannus has kept 3 clean sheets in Europe for Rovers (2010 and 2011) but he has not kept a clean sheet in any of his last 13 European appearances, 6 for Rovers, including the AC Milan tie, and 7 for St Johnstone, since the Saints’ 1-0 win in Minsk in 2013.

  • As of Wednesday last week, Stephen Bradley was in charge of Rovers for 5 years. Drogheda was his 200th game as Hoops boss.

  • Bradley is 3 games away from Michael O’Neill’s total of 16 European games and last season in the Ilves Tampere penalty shootout in Tallaght he equalled O’Neill’s record of 3 European knockout tie wins as manager. John Giles still has the most single matches won in 90-120 minutes (four).

  • In the Rovers squad, Ronan Finn (41), Sean Gannon (38), Sean Hoare (25) & Joey O’Brien (24) have played the most European career games but Hoare is the only player to score a goal, for Dundalk against Arsenal last year.

  • Danny Mandroiu and Rory Gaffney are set to make their European debut. Chris McCann played in the 2013/14 Europa League group stages with Wigan Athletic.

  • Richie Towell made 6 European appearances for Dundalk, netting 2 goals in Luxembourg in the 2014 Europa League. Towell was also on the bench, along with Daryl Murphy and Paddy McCourt, for Celtic’s 2-0 win over Utrecht in 2010.