Manchester City FC will hope to forge on towards the quarter-finals at the expense of Sporting Clube de Portugal, having won both of their previous home games against Portuguese opponents.
• Sporting are 1-0 up from the home leg. Drafted in to replace the injured Oguchi Onyewu, centre-back Xandão broke the deadlock with an inspired back-heel (51).
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• They met in a 2010/11 pre-season friendly in New York, with Yannick Djaló scoring twice in a 2-0 win for Sporting.
• The teams for that game on 24 July 2010 were:
Sporting: Tiago, João Pereira, Carriço, Polga, Evaldo, Pedro Mendes (André Santos 87), Maniche, Vukčević (Valdés 74), Djaló, Postiga (M Veloso 79), Saleiro.
City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott (Onuoha 46), Cunningham (Bridge 45), Ireland (Boyata 64), Vieira (Tchuimeni-Nimely 64), Zabaleta, Johnson, Jô (Tutte 74), Bellamy (Guidetti 74).
• Sporting's 18 previous games against English sides have ended W9 D3 L6 (W7 D1 L1 in Lisbon – W2 D2 L5 in England).
• Sporting have met City's neighbours Manchester United FC four times with the record W1 D0 L3. That lone victory, a 5-0 in the 1963/64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, remains the Red Devils' worst ever European result. However, they have lost both their previous games in Manchester – 4-1 and 2-1.
• City's record in four games against Portuguese opponents is W3 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W1 D1 L1 away). They ousted holders FC Porto in this season's round of 32.
• The only previous campaign in which City encountered Portuguese opponents ended with them winning their only major UEFA title; they beat A. Académica de Coimbra in the quarter-finals of the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, drawing 0-0 in Portugal before Tony Towers scored the only goal of the tie in the 119th minute at Maine Road.
• City are unbeaten in 16 European home fixtures − 13 wins and three draws − since a 1-0 UEFA Cup first round loss against FC Midtjylland on 14 August 2008.
• Sporting have won only once in their last eight European away games, 2-0 at FC Zürich in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage. Their record in that run has been W1 D3 L4.
• Sporting have reached the round of 16 twice since losing the 2004/05 UEFA Cup final 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva in Lisbon. They beat City's English rivals Bolton Wanderers FC in 2007/08, bowing out to Rangers FC in the quarter finals, then lost to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2009/10 last 16.
• City striker Sergio Agüero was a key player in that latter game; having featured in the goalless first leg in Spain, he struck twice in Madrid as Atlético drew 2-2 to win the tie on away goals.
• City are playing in the round of 16 for the third time in four seasons; they eliminated Aalborg BK in 2008/09, going on to lose to Hamburger SV in the last eight, but bowed out to FC Dynamo Kyiv in the last 16 last season.
• Four of City's six goals in their round of 32 victory against Porto came in the last 15 minutes of normal time.
• The next goal City let in will be the 50th they have conceded in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; this is their 52nd game in the two competitions.
• Agüero and Sporting left-back Emiliano Insúa won the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup together with Argentina. Insúa also spent five years in England with Liverpool FC, making 46 league appearances.
• City striker Edin Džeko celebrates his 26th birthday on Saturday 17 March
• As a forward City manager Roberto Mancini won 36 caps for Italy, and Serie A titles – and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup – with both S.S. Lazio and UC Sampdoria. As a coach, he won three Italian titles with FC Internazionale Milano before joining City in 2009; his first trophy in Manchester came in last season's FA Cup.
• Mancini's Inter traded 1-0 home wins with Sporting in the group stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.
• Domingos Paciência was dismissed as Sporting coach at the start of February, having led SC Braga to last season's UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin.
• Youth coach Ricardo Sá Pinto, 39, has been named Sporting boss until the end of the season. The former Portugal forward had two spells with Sporting, from 1994-97 and 2000-06 and played abroad with Real Sociedad de Fútbol and R. Standard de Liège.
• Sá Pinto faced City's James Milner (against Newcastle United FC in the quarter-finals) and Adam Johnson (in the round of 16 against Middlesbrough FC) as a Sporting player in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup. He came out on top in both ties as Sporting went on to reach the final.
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
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