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Sporting Clube de Portugal will be hoping to make it third time lucky when they host Rangers FC in the deciding leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie, having earned a 1-1 draw in Glasgow last week.
• A second-half Steven Whittaker header put the Scottish club ahead after both sides had squandered a host of chances. However, Matías Fernández struck with only a minute remaining to give the Portuguese side a valuable away goal.
• The clubs have been involved in two previous knockout round meetings. Rangers won both ties, the first time in rather dramatic circumstances, and went on to reach European finals following those successes.
• They first met in the second round of the 1971/72 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; Rangers won 3-2 at home, but lost by the same margin over 90 minutes in the return leg to send the game into extra time.
• Willie Henderson scored again for Rangers in the 100th minute, with Fernando Peres replying before the end for Sporting. With the scores level, a penalty shoot-out was held which the hosts won. However, referee Laurens van Ravens was then alerted to the recently introduced away goals rule meaning it was Rangers who progressed.
• Rangers went on to reach the final, where they beat FC Dinamo Moskva 3-2 to win their only major European trophy to date.
• The sides met again in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup quarter-final, drawing 0-0 in Glasgow before goals from Jean-Claude Darcheville and Steven Whittaker earned Rangers a 2-0 win in Lisbon. They went on to reach the final, but lost 2-0 in Manchester to FC Zenit St Petersburg.
• The lineups for their most recent game in Lisbon on 10 April 2008 were:
Sporting: Rui Patrício*, Izmailov* (Yannick Djaló* 62), Vukčević*, Tonel, Leandro Grimi* (Rodrigi Tiuí 77), Miguel Veloso, Gladstone (Bruno Pereirinha 69), João Moutinho, Romagnoli, Liedson, Abel*.
Rangers: McGregor*, Papac*, Ferguson, Hemdani, Thomson, Darcheville (Cousin 72), Broadfoot*, Cuéllar, McCulloch* (Whittaker* 78), Dailly, Davis*.
*still with the club
• Sporting's 13 games against Scottish sides have ended W5 D2 L6 (W5 D0 L1 at home).
• Sporting are the only Portuguese side to have avoided defeat at Ibrox, with the first-leg draw this season their second tie on Scottish soil. They have never won in Scotland.
• Rangers' record in 13 games against Portuguese opponents reads W7 D3 L3 (W2 D1 L3 in Portugal).
• Sporting have won their last three home games, scoring five goals in two of those wins, and conceding just once in that period.
• This is Rangers' first tie in the UEFA Europa League since they lost out to Zenit in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup final.
• Rangers are without a win in their last five European games – two losses, three draws – since beating Bursaspor 1-0 at Ibrox in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Rangers have not won in their last nine European away matches – including the 2007/08 final – since they last met Sporting.
• The next goal Rangers concede will be the 350th they have let past them in UEFA club competition; this is their 285th UEFA club competition game.
• Sporting have played more UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League fixtures than any other side in the round of 32; this will be their 129th.
• Sporting have tended to be fast starters in Europe this season; ten of their 15 UEFA Europa League goals so far came before the break.
• Pedro Mendes was a Rangers player for around 18 months, winning the 2008/09 Scottish title, but missing their cup final success in the same season through injury. He left Ibrox for Sporting in January 2010.
• Sporting's German goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand faced Rangers in two 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage games with VfB Stuttgart; his side lost 2-1 in Glasgow but won 1-0 at home.
• Sporting forward Hélder Postiga played against Rangers at this stage of the competition in 2007/08 while on loan at Panathinaikos FC. His side lost on away goals as Rangers went on to reach the final.
• Sporting's Evaldo was an unused substitute as Rangers beat his CS Marítimo side 1-0 at Ibrox in a 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round game, before winning the tie 4-2 on penalties.
• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between LOSC Lille Métropole and PSV Eindhoven in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg away from home.
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