UEFA.com's resident statistician goes over his exhaustive notes to reveal the quarter-finalist in it for the long haul and explain why the outlook is rosy for England's three teams.
UEFA.com's resident statistician goes over his exhaustive notes to pull out ten interesting facts and figures on this season's quarter-final lineup.
SL Benfica are old hands at this stage but it is uncharted territory for S.S. Lazio, FC Basel 1893 and Fenerbahçe SK. History suggests the outlook is rosiest for one of England's three representatives, though.
1. Benfica are the only quarter-finalist to have previously reached this phase of the competition. Their third qualification for the last eight – out of three UEFA Europa League participations – sets a new landmark, surpassing the two appearances of Club Atlético de Madrid and Valencia CF.
2. The quarter-finals feature teams from six UEFA member associations for the first time; in all three past editions there were five nations represented.
3. The sole country with multiple representation is England, with three sides in the last eight for the first time (UEFA Cup years included): Tottenham Hotspur FC, Chelsea FC and Newcastle United FC. There were no English quarter-finalists in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
4. In each of the previous two seasons in which a country has taken three clubs to the quarter-finals, one went on to win the trophy – FC Porto (Portugal) in 2010/11 and Atlético (Spain) in 2012/13. Indeed, that country also provided both finalists in either campaign, with SC Braga and Athletic Club as respective runners-up.
5. Italy, Switzerland and Turkey will be represented in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals for the first time – by Lazio, Basel and Fenerbahçe, respectively. Eleven of the 53 UEFA member associations have now been involved in the competition's last eight.
6. Spain have no team in the quarter-finals for the first time. Portugal are the only nation to have figured in the last eight in every one of the UEFA Europa League's four seasons, and Benfica's presence puts Portugal level with their Iberian neighbours in the all-time rankings with six quarter-finalists.
7. Two of the eight sides that transferred to the competition from the UEFA Champions League group stage are through to the quarter-finals – Benfica and Chelsea. They will hope to emulate the feat of inaugural winners Atlético, who triumphed in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League after entering in the knockout phase.
8. Basel are the sole reigning domestic champions still in the draw. They have also played more European matches this term than any other surviving team (16), having begun their continental campaign in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
9. Tottenham and FC Rubin Kazan are the only two survivors from the seven clubs granted automatic entry to the UEFA Europa League at the group stage.
10. There will be a new winner of the UEFA Europa League in 2012/13, with just one quarter-finalist, Tottenham, having lifted the trophy in its previous guise, the UEFA Cup, in 1972 and 1984. Benfica, Chelsea and Lazio have won other UEFA competitions, while Newcastle have the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on their roll of honour.