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FC Porto will be hoping to avoid a third successive home defeat by English opponents in the UEFA Champions League when they welcome familiar foes Arsenal FC to the Estádio do Dragão in the first knockout round.
• The Portuguese champions, who finished second in Group D, will seek motivation from their most recent game with Arsenal. In last season's group stage Porto beat the London side 2-0 with Bruno Alves and Lisandro on the scoresheet. It meant Porto finished top of Group G with Arsenal a point behind in second place.
• The teams for that 10 December 2008 encounter were:
Porto: Helton, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Lucho (Costa 78), Lisandro, Cristián Rodríguez (Mariano 78), Hulk (Guarín 88), Fucile, Rolando, Raul Meireles, Fernando.
Arsenal: Almunia, Eboué, Gallas, Djourou, Silvestre, Diaby (Gibbs 60), Denilson, Ramsey (Wilshere 59), Song (Randall 79), Vela, Bendtner.
• A much more experienced Arsenal outfit lined up in the first game between the sides which ended in a 4-0 victory for the English team, Porto's joint heaviest away defeat in the competition.
• The teams for that game on 30 September 2008 were:
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy, Fàbregas, Nasri (Eboué 65), Walcott (Vela 72), Denilson, Adebayor, Van Persie (Bendtner 65).
Porto: Helton, Bruno Alves, Benítez, Guarín, Lisandro, Cristián Rodríguez (Candeias 79), Rolando, Raul Meireles (Hulk 64), Costa, Săpunaru, Fernando (Lucho 46).
• Arsenal's only previous visit to Porto came in 2006/07, also on Matchday 6, when a goalless draw was enough to take the Gunners through as group winners after the teams finished on eleven points. The game at the Arsenal Stadium had ended 2-0 to the hosts.
• This is the sixth time in seven consecutive campaigns that Porto have reached the knockout rounds. Last season they lost to Manchester United FC in the quarter-finals after a 1-0 second-leg defeat at home. In the first knockout round they had eliminated Club Atlético de Madrid on away goals, drawing 2-2 in Spain and 0-0 at home.
• Prior to United's visit Porto were unbeaten against English visitors, eleven contests yielding five wins and six draws. United's 1-0 triumph was followed by Chelsea FC, who won by the same score in this season's group stage.
• After winning Group H by three points, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Olympiacos FC on Matchday 6, although their passage to the knockout rounds was already assured.
• Prior to their meetings with Porto, Arsenal had faced Portuguese opposition only once before in UEFA club competition, losing to SL Benfica in the 1991/92 the European Champion Clubs' Cup second round. After a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, the Gunners suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss in London.
• This is the tenth successive campaign in which Arsenal have advanced from the initial group stage. Last season they reached the semi-finals before also bowing out to Manchester United, losing 1-0 away and 3-1 at home.
• Wenger was in charge of AS Monaco FC for their 1-1 draw at CF Os Belenenses in the first round of the 1989/90 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the French club winning the return 3-0.
• Samir Nasri was in the Olympique de Marseille side defeated 2-1 at Porto in the 2007/08 group stage.
• In December 2004 Nuno helped Porto beat a Chelsea team featuring William Gallas 2-1 in the group stage.
• Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles played in a Portugal team who lost 2-0 to Switzerland in Group A at UEFA EURO 2008. Johan Djourou was an unused substitute for the hosts.
• Nicklas Bendtner scored Denmark's first goal in a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win against Portugal in September 2008. Raul Meireles played for the home team, who managed a 1-1 draw in the Copenhagen return a year later. Bendtner was again on target with Raul Meireles and Bruno Alves in the Portugal side.
• Cristián Rodríguez was a late substitute in Paris Saint-Germain FC's 4-1 win against an AJ Auxerre side including Sagna in March 2006, seven months before they faced each other again in the teams' goalless draw.
• Rodríguez's PSG drew 1-1 against an Olympique de Marseille containing Nasri at the Stade Vélodrome in Ligue 1 on 4 February 2007.
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