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Portugal begin their bid for a place at UEFA EURO 2016 with a first UEFA meeting against Albania at senior level, the visitors eager to make a positive start in Aveiro after drawing their last game in Portugal.
• The countries have met five times with Portugal boasting the record W4 D1 L0 (W2 D1 L0 at home – W2 D0 L0 in Albania). They are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• The sides first met in 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Artur Jorge's Portugal won 3-0 in Tirana on 9 October 1996, with goals from Luís Figo (11), Hélder Cristóvão (77) and Rui Costa (89). João Pinto (14) and Figo (70) were on target as Portugal won the return fixture 2-0 in Porto.
• The sides next met in an action-packed friendly in Lisbon on 11 October 2003: Luiz Felipe Scolari's side took a seventh-minute lead through Figo, but it was 2-1 to Albania by the break, Ardian Aliaj (13) and Igli Tare (44) on target. Simão (51) Rui Costa (57), Pauleta (59) and Miguel (65) all scored for Portugal after the break, Aliaj (61) replying as the game ended 5-3.
• Their last meetings, in 2010 World Cup qualifying, were closer, Arie Haan's Albania holding Carlos Queiroz's Portugal to a 0-0 draw in Braga on 15 October 2008. Under Josip Kuže, they came within seconds of earning another draw in Tirana, Erjon Bogdani (28) cancelling out Hugo Almeida's opener (27), only for Bruno Alves to score a 90th-minute winner.
• Portuguese and Albanian clubs have met in four UEFA competition games: the Portuguese teams' record is W3 D1 L0 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W1 D1 L0 in Albania) with eight goals scored and none conceded.
• The nations' most recent competitive meetings came in 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification. Albania twice came from behind to draw 2-2 in Durres in the first meeting on 14 November 2011 – despite ending the game with ten men – but lost the return fixture 3-1 in Marinha Grande on 6 June 2012.
• In the 20 UEFA games between Albanian and Portuguese sides – including club games, youth games, women's matches and futsal – there has been just one Albanian victory. Rigels Qosa (68) scored the only goal in Tirana as Albania beat Portugal 1-0 in a UEFA European Under-16 Championship qualifier on 3 March 1993. Of the remaining 19 games, 15 have been Portuguese wins.
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