|I||Athletic||H. Kiryat Shmona|
Tottenham Hotspur FC meet S.S. Lazio for the first time in UEFA Europa League Group J, with players and coaches from both sides facing old colleagues and adversaries.
• Spurs' seven games against Italian teams have ended W3 D2 L2 (W2 D1 L0 at home – W1 D1 L2 in Italy). They famously reached the final of the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1971/72 after beating AC Milan over two legs in the semi-finals.
• Lazio's 12 games against English sides have ended W3 D3 L6 (W1 D2 L2 at home – W1 D1 L4 in England). Those results include a 1-0 win against Manchester United FC in the 1999 UEFA Super Cup, played in Monaco.
• Lazio have not won in their last seven outings against English clubs (two draws and five defeats), a run which stretches back to a 2-1 win at Chelsea FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League second group stage. They have also failed to score in their last two matches against Premier League opposition.
• Spurs are featuring in the group stage of this competition for a fifth time. Including their 2010/11 UEFA Champions League campaign, they have reached the knockout phase in four of their five previous UEFA group stage attempts, missing the cut for the first time in last season's UEFA Europa League.
• Tottenham have only won two of their last six European home games, with that run including two draws and defeats against Real Madrid CF (1-0) and PAOK FC (2-1).
• This is Lazio's fourth attempt at the group stage; they failed to reach the knockout phase in their first two campaigns, but finally made it to the last 32 in 2011/12, losing to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid.
• Prior to their 2-0 play-off victory at NK Mura, Lazio had not won in four UEFA away games, registering two draws and two defeats.
• Lazio's Michaël Ciani and Spurs' Younes Kaboul were team-mates at AJ Auxerre from 2004-07, though the former spent much of that spell out on loan.
• Lazio's Lionel Scaloni (West Ham United FC, 2006), Mauro Zárate (Birmingham City FC, 2008) and Lorik Cana (Sunderland AFC, 2009/10) have all played in England.
• Lazio midfielder Ederson and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were team-mates at OGC Nice from 2005-08.
• Tottenham's reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini played for Lazio in the 1996/97 season, but made just one appearance for the club, as a serious wrist injury put his career on hold. The Italian also represented AC Milan, Como Calcio, AS Prato and ASD Castel di Sangro before moving to England in 1999 to join Chelsea.
• Having been an unused substitute in his side's two previous games against Lazio, Cudicini was in goal for Chelsea as they beat the Rome club 2-1 at home and 4-0 away in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League.
• The clubs have a famous former player in common: Paul Gascoigne left Tottenham for Lazio in the summer of 1992. Lazio general manager Maurizio Manzini said of the 45-year-old: "There is always a corner of Tottenham in our hearts. He is a mythical figure for Lazio fans and very popular in general in Italy."
• Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas received his first break in coaching as a teenager from then FC Porto boss Sir Bobby Robson, and later assisted José Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea FC and FC Internazionale Milano, before striking out alone at A. Académica de Coimbra and then leading Porto to a domestic double and the UEFA Cup in 2010/11. A move to Chelsea that summer proved to be ill-fated, but he took charge at Spurs in July 2012.
• Villas-Boas faced Italian opposition in his final European game as Chelsea FC coach, a 3-1 UEFA Champions League round of 16 defeat at SSC Napoli last season.
• Lazio's coach since June has been Vladimir Petković, who won a Yugoslavian title as a midfielder with hometown club FK Sarajevo in 1984/85 before moving to Switzerland, where he played at a modest level and coached the likes of AC Bellinzona, BSC Young Boys and FC Sion, as well as moving to Turkey to take charge of Samsunspor.
• Petković took on Spurs with Young Boys in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League play-offs. His side won 3-2 in the home leg in Berne but were beaten 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
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