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SL Benfica will be mindful of their guests' recent European pedigree when last season's UEFA Champions League contenders FC BATE Borisov travel to Lisbon for their UEFA Europa League Group I opener.
• The two sides have never met, and this will be Benfica's first game against a Belarussian side and likewise BATE's first against Portuguese opposition.
• Benfica played in two UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, reaching the last 32 in 2004/05 but surprisingly finishing bottom of their section last season.
• BATE made their debut in the group stage of a UEFA club competition in last season's UEFA Champions League. They finished at the foot of Group H despite two draws against Juventus and one against then UEFA Cup holders FC Zenit St. Petersburg.
• Benfica have lost three of their last five European home games. BATE have lost only one of their most recent five away matches in continental competition.
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus had a fine campaign last season with his previous club, SC Braga. He led them all the way from the UEFA Intertoto Cup to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, where they lost out to Paris Saint-Germain FC.
• Jorge Jesus started his playing career with Benfica's Lisbon rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, and came on in a 0-0 draw against Benfica in the 1975/76 season. Current Benfica technical director Shéu was one of the Eagles' players that day.
• After the draw for the group stage, the experienced coach said: "I am not that familiar with the Belarussians, but they did well in the Champions League last season."
• BATE, famously a team founded at a Borisov tractor factory, are led by Viktor Goncharenko, who last season became the youngest coach to hold the reins at a side in the UEFA Champions League at 31. A year older, he is now the youngest coach to lead a side into the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Once a BATE defender, Goncharenko was forced to retire young with a cruciate injury, but stayed at the club as a coach, working his way up through the ranks before taking sole command in 2007.
• Benfica visit AEK Athens FC on Matchday 2, while BATE are at home against Everton FC on the same night, 1 October.
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