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Pride paramount for AEK in Lisbon

Published: Friday 4 December 2009, 1.18CET
With SL Benfica already through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Group I winners, eliminated AEK Athens FC will look to sign off on a high with a morale-boosting victory in Lisbon.

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Tournament statistics

BenficaAEK

Goals scored24
 
5
Attempts on target161
 
71
Attempts off target1
 
0
Corners79
 
23
Offsides34
 
26
Fouls committed170
 
78
Yellow cards23
 
18
Red cards0
4

Media Services

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Friday 4 December 2009, 1.18CET

Pride paramount for AEK in Lisbon

With SL Benfica already through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Group I winners, eliminated AEK Athens FC will look to sign off on a high with a morale-boosting victory in Lisbon.

With SL Benfica already through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Group I winners, eliminated AEK Athens FC will look to sign off on a high with victory in Lisbon.

Previous meetings
• Benfica lost 1-0 in Athens as the teams met for the first time on Matchday 2. Their four home games against Greek sides have ended in three wins and a defeat, with the latter encounter the concluding leg of a 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round tie, which the Eagles won 4-1 on penalties. AEK have lost both of their previous contests in Portugal.

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.

• AEK are the only side to have taken any points off Benfica in Group I but face a huge task if they are to do so again in the Portuguese capital. Benfica have won all three of their European home matches this season without conceding a goal, scoring eleven times in the process.

• AEK, by contrast, have not won away in Europe this term. Indeed, they have only triumphed once in their last 13 continental fixtures on their travels, beating FK Mladá Boleslav 1-0 in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage on 5 December 2007.

Team facts
• Dušan 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 trainer (1988-96) before incensing many fans by moving to Olympiacos FC 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 took over for the third time 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.

• Benfica, FC Salzburg and FC Shakhtar Donetsk share the best defensive record in the competition to date, having conceded just two goals in the group stage.

• Benfica's Angel Di María has been responsible for more assists than any other player in the first five matchdays, setting up four goals.

• AEK picked up more red cards than any other side in the first five matchdays, collecting four in total and only twice finishing games with a full complement of players. 

Last updated: 27/11/12 19.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000037/match=2000883/prematch/background/index.html#pride+paramount+aek+lisbon

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