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Panathinaikos FC have not conceded in their last three home games against Belgian sides, while R. Standard de Liège have never won in Greece, but this UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie could easily defy the form book.
• This will be the first encounter between these two sides.
• Panathinaikos have played ten games against Belgian clubs, leaving them with the record W2 D4 L4 (W2 D3 L0 at home). Encouragingly for Nikos Nioplias's charges, they have not conceded in their last three home meetings with Eerste Klasse opposition – a spell which extends back to a 2-2 draw with Club Brugge KV on 2 March 1988.
• Panathinaikos head coach Nioplias and his assistant Krzysztof Warzycha were both members of the Greens side that bowed out to Club Brugge in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round.
• Standard have come up against both of Panathinaikos's big domestic rivals (Olympiacos FC and AEK Athens FC) in previous European fixtures, with their record reading W2 D1 L1 (W0 D1 L1 in Greece).
• The two most recent of those encounters came against Olympiacos in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, Standard losing 2-1 in Piraeus but winning 2-0 at home.
• Panathinaikos are on a three-game winning streak in Europe, having scored three times in each of those successes. They have also won their last three UEFA Europa League home matches since a 3-1 loss to Galatasaray AŞ in the group stage.
• Unbeaten in their last three outings, Standard have nonetheless failed to clinch an away success in Europe in six attempts since triumphing 1-0 at FK Partizan in last season's UEFA Cup group stage. That stands as their only victory in their last ten away trips in continental competition.
• Standard have not reached the quarter-finals of a major UEFA club competition since the 1981/82 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, when they beat FC Porto en route to a 2-1 final defeat by FC Barcelona at Camp Nou.
• Panathinaikos also met Porto in their most recent European quarter-final, with the Portuguese outfit eliminating them in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup. José Mourinho's side went on to beat Celtic FC 3-2 in the final in Seville.
• Panathinaikos's Djibril Cissé faced Standard's Belgian rivals RSC Anderlecht with Liverpool FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win in Belgium and his side's third in a 3-0 victory in the return fixture.
• Cissé was a Liverpool striker from 2004 to 2006, while Standard's Serbian front man Milan Jovanović will move to Anfield in the summer, having signed a pre-contract agreement to augment the Reds' forward line.
• Cissé has been ruled offside 25 times since the start of the group stage – more than any other player in the competition.
• Back at the club after a five-year absence, defender Giourkas Seitaridis was a member of the Panathinaikos side that beat Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup fourth round, winning 3-0 at home and losing 2-0 in Brussels.
• Team-mate Giorgos Karagounis also appeared in both of those fixtures.
• Greece and Belgium have met in six international fixtures, with three wins for Greece, two for Belgium and one draw. Neither nation has won an away game against the other. In their most recent meeting – an August 2005 friendly – Panathinaikos's Karagaounis featured on the losing side as Belgium prevailed 2-0 in Brussels.
• Panathinaikos are four goals shy of 300 in UEFA club competition. This will be their 236th European outing.
• The tie concludes at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne on 18 March. The draw for the quarter-finals will be staged the following day.
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