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SL Benfica will look to eradicate the memory of their only previous encounter with VfB Stuttgart as the two sides are reunited in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, with the German club yet to lose against Portuguese opponents.
• Stuttgart, under Matthias Sammer, met Giovanni Trapattoni's Benfica in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, winning 3-0 in Germany.
• The teams for that game on 4 November 2004 were:
Stuttgart: Hildebrand, Hinkel, Stranzl, Babbel, Meissner, Hleb (Vranješ 87), Heldt (Tiffert 73), Cacau*, Soldo, Lahm, Kuranyi (Szabics 77).
Benfica: Moreira*, Amoreirinha, Luisão*, Paulo Almeida, Geovanni, Dos Santos, Simão, Nuno Gomes* (Bruno Aguiar 65), Ricardo Rocha (Fucks 42), Manuel Fernandes, João Pereira (Karadas 55).
*still with the club
• Benfica's 34 games against German clubs have produced the record W8 D12 L14 (W8 D6 L2 in Lisbon).
• Aside from their previous joust with Benfica, Stuttgart's sole experience of Portuguese opposition came in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup, when they beat Vitória FC 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals before losing to Feyenoord in the last four.
• Benfica were on a nine-game unbeaten run at home (eight wins and a draw) when they lost 2-1 to FC Schalke 04 in their final UEFA Champions League group stage game of 2010. They are thus facing German opposition for the second match in succession.
• Stuttgart are unbeaten in seven home outings (four wins and three draws) since a 3-1 loss to Sevilla FC in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage. They triumphed in all three of their UEFA Europa League group stage home fixtures in the autumn.
• Benfica are two goals shy of their 550th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 328th European game. Meanwhile, their next defeat will be their 100th in UEFA club competition.
• Stuttgart's Arthur Boka was responsible for five assists in the UEFA Europa League group stage, leaving him as the joint-top supplier along with FC Dynamo Kyiv's Roman Eremenko.
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has overseen seven games against German sides during his coaching stints with CF Os Belenenses, SC Braga and Benfica. His record reads W1 D1 L5 (W1 D0 L3 at home).
• His only positive results against German opposition came when his Benfica team eliminated Hertha BSC Berlin at this stage of last season's UEFA Europa League, drawing 1-1 at the Olympiastadion before prevailing 4-0 at home.
• New Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia kicked off his European reign at the club with a 5-1 win against Odense BK in their final UEFA Europa League game of 2010. Labbadia led Hamburger SV to the semi-finals last season but was dismissed following their 0-0 first-leg home draw against Fulham FC.
• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between FC BATE Borisov and Paris Saint-Germain FC in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg at home.
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