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Sporting Clube de Portugal travel to Poland having just dismissed coach Domingos Paciência as they prepare to take on Legia Warszawa in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• The clubs have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition having never met sides from their opponents' nation before.
• Polish clubs' 18 previous UEFA games against Portuguese teams have ended W3 D5 L10 (W3 D3 L2 in Poland).
• Sides from the two nations met in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32; KKS Lech Poznań beat SC Braga 1-0 at home but lost 2-0 in Portugal.
• Legia were unbeaten in six home games – three wins and three draws – before being defeated 3-0 by PSV Eindhoven on matchday five.
• Legia made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage at the first attempt this season; they have not played in the new year phase of a European competition since reaching the quarter-finals of the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League, where they drew 0-0 at home to Panathinaikos FC but lost the return 3-0.
• Sporting have scored only twice on the road in Europe this season, both goals coming in a 2-0 win at FC Zürich on matchday one; their away record this season is W1 D1 L2.
• The Lisbon outfit are competing in the round of 32 for the fifth time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05, when they lost 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva in the final. They have only once failed to reach the round of 16, bowing out to Rangers FC on away goals last season.
• Sporting's Rui Patrício (25) celebrates his birthday on the eve of this match.
• Diego Capel turns 24 on the day of the game; he has yet to play in a UEFA game on his birthday.
• Portugal and Poland will meet in a friendly on 29 February to mark the official opening of the Warsaw National Stadium, one of the host venues for UEFA EURO 2012.
• Legia defender Michał Żewłakow and Sporting's Stijn Schaars were on opposite sides in two 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage matches; Żewłakow's Olympiacos FC beat Schaars' AZ Alkmaar 1-0 at home and drew the return fixture 0-0.
• Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored three times in the Netherlands' 4-0 win against Poland in an October 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier, with Legia's Maciej Rybus on the losing side.
• Sporting's only previous Polish player was striker Andrzej Juskowiak, who represented the Lisbon side from 1992 to 1995.
• Only one player has been transferred between the clubs; Brazilian defender Edson spent the first half of 2005/06 with Sporting before joining Legia in the winter, helping them to win the title.
• Legia's Maciej Skorża took his first steps in management as a youth coach with the Warsaw club after a brief playing career as a defender. Skorża established his reputation with Amica Wronki, Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski and Wisła Kraków, where he won two Polish league titles.
• Sporting parted company with coach Paciência on Tuesday. He led SC Braga to last season's UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin. Paciência has been replaced by youth team coach Ricardo Sá Pinto, who assumes a caretaker role.
• Paciência's Braga, also featuring Sporting defender Alberto Rodríguez, overcame Lech Poznań at this stage of the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League, losing 1-0 away before a 2-0 victory in Portugal.
Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on either Sporting's Liga rivals FC Porto or Manchester City FC in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home. Neither side have met either of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
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