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Benfica hope history repeats itself

Published: Monday 8 October 2007, 21.45CET
Every past meeting between SL Benfica and Celtic FC has produced a 3-0 home win and after two defeats, Benfica would love more of the same.

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Published: Monday 8 October 2007, 21.45CET

Benfica hope history repeats itself

Every past meeting between SL Benfica and Celtic FC has produced a 3-0 home win and after two defeats, Benfica would love more of the same.

If past encounters between SL Benfica and Celtic FC are any guide, there can only be one outcome at the Estádio da Luz on Matchday 3. Whenever these teams have met, the hosts have come away with a 3-0 win and Benfica, bottom of Group D without a single point, could certainly do with the historical pattern continuing.

• Benfica go into the game on the back of defeats by AC Milan and FC Shakhtar Donetsk. After succumbing 2-1 in Italy on Matchday 1, their hopes of UEFA Champions League progress took a severe dent last time out when Jadson's solitary 42nd-minute goal consigned them to a 1-0 home loss to Shakhtar.

• On the same night, Celtic made amends for their opening 2-0 defeat in Donetsk by recording a memorable 2-1 home victory over holders Milan. Scott McDonald struck the winner in the last minute after Kaká's spot-kick had cancelled out Stephen McManus's opening effort for the Scottish champions.

• Given their predicament, Benfica would dearly love a repeat of their 3-0 success against Celtic in Lisbon on 1 November last year. Gordon Strachan's visitors made the worst possible start that evening with Gary Caldwell's own goal after ten minutes and strikes from Nuno Gomes (22) and Andrei Karyaka (76) completed a comfortable win.

• The teams are meeting at exactly the same stage at which they faced each other last season, except that last term it was Celtic who had home advantage in the first match of the double-header.

• Celtic won that game on 17 October 3-0 through goals from two players who have since left the Glasgow club. Kenny Miller netted twice (56, 66) before Stephen Pearson completed the scoring in the last minute.

• Celtic got the better of Benfica overall by taking second place in the group with the Lisbon team third. Strachan's charges reached the knockout rounds despite losing half of their games and it is no surprise to note that all those defeats came away from Glasgow: after all, they have never won on their travels in the UEFA Champions League, recording 14 reverses and one draw.

• Although this is the clubs' third encounter in 13 months, you have to go back to the 1969/70 season for their other past meetings, when it took the toss of a coin to decide the outcome of their European Champion Clubs' Cup second-round tie.

• Goals from Tommy Gemmell, Willie Wallace and Harry Hood gave Celtic a 3-0 first-leg win in Glasgow but Benfica fought back in Lisbon securing an identical result thanks to strikes from Eusébio, Jaime Graça and Diamantino. The coin toss sent Celtic through, however, and they went on to the final where they lost 2-1 to Feyenoord.

• Celtic have had mixed results on their travels to Portugal. Their overall record reads two wins, one draw and four defeats with their most recent success coming in April 2003 when they triumphed 1-0 at Boavista FC to book their place in the UEFA Cup final against another Portuguese team, FC Porto. The only survivor from Celtic's squad that night is defender Dianbobo Baldé.

• It was at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon in 1967 that Jock Stein's Celtic team became the first British winners of the European Cup by defeating FC Internazionale Milano 2-1.

• In their playing days, Celtic manager Strachan got the better of his Benfica counterpart José Antonio Camacho when Aberdeen FC defeated Real Madrid CF 2-1 in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in 1983.

• Camacho did enjoy success against Celtic as a player, however, featuring in the Madrid side who overturned a 2-0 defeat in Scotland with a 3-0 triumph at the Santiago Bernabéu in the quarter-finals of the 1979/80 European Champion Clubs' Cup.

Last updated: 22/10/07 12.56CET