Udinese Calcio are hoping history repeats itself in more ways than one when they tackle SC Braga in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off at the Stadio Friuli.
• The only other time Udinese qualified for the UEFA Champions League came with a second-leg home victory over Portuguese opposition, Sporting Clube de Portugal, in 2005/06 and then as now José Peseiro was the coach in the away dugout.
• Francesco Guidolin's Udinese will fancy their chances of completing qualification after earning a 1-1 first-leg draw in Portugal, where Dušan Basta gave them a first-half lead. However, Ismaily's stunning equaliser revived the hopes of a Braga side eager to secure their own second group stage appearance after their debut in 2010/11.
• At this identical stage 12 months ago Udinese's UEFA Champions League ambitions ended with a home defeat by Arsenal FC but they subsequently went five games unbeaten at the Stadio Friuli in the UEFA Europa League, recording three victories and two draws.
• Braga can draw similar encouragement from their away record in last season's UEFA Europe League, where they earned two wins and three draws.
• The Portuguese team won their only previous UEFA Champions League play-off against Sevilla FC two summers ago under coach Domingos Paciência, embarking on a journey that led eventually to the 2011 UEFA Europa League final.
• Braga can take heart too from a 100% record against Italian opposition in two-legged ties – both in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup. They beat AC Chievo Verona 3-2 on aggregate in the first round, winning 2-0 at home then scoring a decisive third goal in extra time of the second leg through Wender after Chievo had levelled the aggregate scores. Braga subsequently overcame Parma FC with successive 1-0 victories in the round of 32 – both thanks to late goals.
• There was also late drama on Braga's third visit to Italy as they succumbed 1-0 to AC Milan thanks to Ronaldinho's last-gasp strike in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. Alan and Paulo César featured in that match.
• Serse Cosmi was at the Udinese helm for their aforementioned triumph over Peseiro's Sporting in the 2005/06 third qualifying round – a 1-0 win in Lisbon and a 3-2 home success. The only survivor of those ties in Udinese's UEFA Champions League squad is Antonio Di Natale.
• Hugo Viana helped Valencia CF eliminate FC Internazionale Milano from the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2006/07. He faced AS Roma too in that season's group stage in a 1-0 defeat in Rome and his experience also includes games against Juventus and Inter in the 2002/03 competition as a Newcastle United FC player – he came up against Udinese's Giovanni Pasquale when Inter won 4-1 at Newcastle in the second group stage.
• Quim played in both legs of SL Benfica's 2008/09 UEFA Cup first-round tie against SCC Napoli – a 3-2 loss in Italy and 2-0 home win – while Ruben Amorim featured as a second-leg substitute. Quim also faced Milan with the Eagles in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, losing 2-1 away before a 1-1 draw in Lisbon.
• Custódio was in the Sporting side beaten 1-0 at Inter in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions group stage.
• Alan played against Inter for FC Porto in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 2-0 at home before losing 2-1 in Milan.
• Mossoró and Danilo were team-mates at Paulista FC in Brazil in 2004/05.
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