• Mainz back in Europa League after two years.
  • Qualified after finishing sixth in 2015/16 Bundesliga.
  • Have good home record in Europe.

1.FSV Mainz 05 will be aiming kick-start their season with a win when they face St Etienne in their opening Europa League Group C fixture at the OPEL ARENA on Thursday (kick-off 19:00CEST/17:00GMT).

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The 05ers were 4-1 up against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday, but conceded three second half goals to come away with just a point. Their first taste of the group stage of the Europa League offers coach Martin Schmidt’s side a chance to make amends by getting their European journey off to a winning start.

Watch: Mainz 4-4 Hoffenheim

Their French opponents came through two qualifying ties to make the group, and held Paris St-Germain 1-1 last Friday. Mainz will hope to make the most of home advantage, and have only lost one of their previous five outings at home in European competitions.

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Key facts

  • St Etienne have lost nine of their 17 meetings with German sides.

  • Mainz have never met French opponents before.

  • St Etienne are undefeated in four European games this season, registering two home draws and two away wins in qualifying ties against AEK Athens and Beitar Jerusalem.

Possible line-ups

Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Bell, Balogun, Bussmann - Gbamin - Öztunali, Frei, Malli, De Blasis - Cordoba

Coach: Martin Schimdt

St Etienne: Moulin - Theophile Catherin, Perrin, Pogba - Malcuit, Veretout, Selnaes, Lemoine, Lacroix - Saivet - Roux

Coach: Christophe Galtier