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Sporting Clube de Portugal are on an excellent run of home form as they meet Manchester City FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, with their guests fresh from ousting another Portuguese side, FC Porto.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• They met in a 2010/11 pre-season friendly in New York, with Yannick Djaló scoring twice in a 2-0 win for Sporting.
• The teams for that game on 24 July 2010 were:
Sporting: Tiago, João Pereira, Carriço, Polga, Evaldo, Pedro Mendes (André Santos 87), Maniche, Vukčević (Valdés 74), Djaló, Postiga (Veloso 79), Saleiro.
City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott (Onuoha 46), Cunningham (Bridge 45), Ireland (Boyata 64), Vieira (Tchuimeni-Nimely 64), Zabaleta, Johnson, Jô (Tutte 74), Bellamy (Guidetti 74).
• Sporting's 17 previous games against English sides have ended W8 D3 L6 (W6 D1 L1 in Lisbon).
• Sporting have met City's neighbours Manchester United FC four times with the record W1 D0 L3. That lone victory, a 5-0 win in the 1963/64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, remains the Red Devils' worst ever European result. However, they have lost both their previous games in Manchester – 4-1 and 2-1.
• City's record in four games against Portuguese opponents is W3 D1 L0 (W1 D1 L0 away). They have conceded just once in those fixtures, in their 2-1 round of 32 first-leg win against Porto this season.
• The only previous campaign in which City encountered Portuguese opponents ended with them winning their only major UEFA title; they beat A. Académica de Coimbra in the quarter-finals of the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, drawing 0-0 in Portugal before Tony Towers scored the only goal of the tie in the 119th minute at Maine Road.
• Sporting are unbeaten in nine European home games − eight wins and a draw − since a 2-0 loss to Brøndby IF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Sporting have reached the round of 16 twice since losing the 2004/05 UEFA Cup final 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva in Lisbon. They beat City's English rivals Bolton Wanderers FC in 2007/08, bowing out to Rangers FC in the quarter-finals, then lost to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2009/10 last 16.
• City striker Sergio Agüero was a key player in that latter game. Having featured in the goalless first leg in Spain, he struck twice in Lisbon as Atlético drew 2-2 to win the tie on away goals.
• City are playing in the round of 16 for the third time in four seasons; they eliminated Aalborg BK in 2008/09, going on to lose to Hamburger SV in the last eight, but bowed out to FC Dynamo Kyiv in the last 16 last season.
• City's 2-1 round of 32 win at Porto was only their second away victory in eight European games, a run which includes two draws and four defeats.
• This is Sporting's 250th in UEFA club game; their previous 249 have ended W106 D57 L86 F387 A310.
• Four of City's six goals in their round of 32 victory against Porto came in the last 15 minutes of normal time.
• City are within two goals of conceding their 50th in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; this is their 51st game in the two competitions.
• Agüero and Sporting left-back Emiliano Insúa won the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup together with Argentina. Insúa also spent five years in England with Liverpool FC, making 46 league appearances.
• Edin Džeko's last visit to Lisbon ended in disappointment when his Bosnia and Herzegovina side lost 6-2 to Portugal in the second leg of their UEFA EURO 2012 play-off on 15 November, having held their opponents to a 0-0 draw in the opening fixture.
• Domingos Paciência was dismissed as Sporting coach at the start of February, having led SC Braga to last season's UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin.
• Youth coach Ricardo Sá Pinto, 39, has been named Sporting boss, signing a contract until 2013. The former Portugal forward had two spells with Sporting (1994-97 and 2000-06) and played abroad with Real Sociedad de Fútbol and R. Standard de Liège.
• As a forward City manager Roberto Mancini won 36 caps for Italy, and Serie A titles – and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup – with both S.S. Lazio and UC Sampdoria. As a coach, he won three Italian titles with FC Internazionale Milano before joining City in 2009; his first trophy in Manchester came in last season's FA Cup.
• Mancini's Inter traded 1-0 home wins with Sporting in the group stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
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