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Athens awaits Benfica's visit

Published: Friday 18 September 2009, 1.17CET
Beaten 4-0 at Group I leaders Everton FC on Matchday 1, AEK Athens FC will look to get back on track when they host an SL Benfica side hoping to build on their home win over FC BATE Borisov last time out.

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Tournament statistics

AEKBenfica

Goals scored5
 
24
Attempts on target71
 
161
Attempts off target0
1
Corners23
 
79
Offsides26
 
34
Fouls committed78
 
170
Yellow cards18
 
23
Red cards4
 
0

Media Services

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Friday 18 September 2009, 1.17CET

Athens awaits Benfica's visit

Beaten 4-0 at Group I leaders Everton FC on Matchday 1, AEK Athens FC will look to get back on track when they host an SL Benfica side hoping to build on their home win over FC BATE Borisov last time out.

Beaten 4-0 at Everton FC on Matchday 1, AEK Athens FC will look to get back on track when they host SL Benfica in UEFA Europa League Group I. The Lisbon side should not be lacking confidence after beating FC BATE Borisov 2-0 last time out.

Previous meetings
• The two teams have not met before. The last Portuguese visitors to AEK, FC Porto, lost 6-1 in the 1978/79 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round, with current AEK coach Dušan Bajević scoring twice. Benfica's most recent trip to Greece, in last season's UEFA Cup group stage, ended in a 5-1 defeat at Olympiacos FC.

Match background
• AEK appeared in two UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, missing the cut in 2004/05 but reaching the last 32 three years later. Benfica reached the round of 32 in 2004/05, but surprisingly finished bottom of their section last season.

• For AEK, the 3-0 UEFA Europa League play-off win against SC Vaslui ended a run of four European home games without a victory.

• AEK have played 16 home matches in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup group stages, their record reading W2 D8 L6. They have only scored more than once in one of those fixtures, a 3-3 draw against Real Madrid CF in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Benfica have gone six games without a European away win since beating FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage (04/12/07).

Team facts
• Bajević is in his third spell as AEK coach. The former Yugoslavia striker spent four years at the club as a player, winning Greek titles in 1978 and 1979, in between spells with FK Velež from his native Mostar.

• He won four Greek championships in his first spell as AEK coach (1988-96) before incensing many fans by moving to Olympiacos and winning titles there in three successive seasons. He rejoined AEK in 2002 but quit midway through a match against Iraklis FC in 2004. He returned for a third spell in 2008.

• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus had a fine European 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.

• AEK's Portuguese defender Geraldo represented Benfica early in his career (1999-01).

• AEK's Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Manduca joined the club from Benfica in 2006, having scored once in 16 Liga games (2005-06).

• AEK's Juanfran and Benfica's Pablo Aimar were team-mates at Real Zaragoza from 2006 to 2008.

• AEK are the only Greek side to have reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals, bowing out to eventual winners Juventus at that stage in 1976/77.

• AEK stands for Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos (Athletic Union of Constantinople). The club were founded by refugees from Istanbul.

• AEK visit BATE on Matchday 3, while Benfica host Everton on the same night, 22 October.

Last updated: 27/11/12 21.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000037/match=2000803/prematch/background/index.html#athens+awaits+benficas+visit

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