PAOK FC – and their coach Huub Stevens – may feel they have a score to settle when they take on SL Benfica in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• The sides' only previous meetings were very tight. Jupp Heynckes's Benfica and Arie Haan's PAOK both lost 2-1 at home in their 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round meeting before Benfica won the tie 4-1 on penalties in Lisbon.
• The teams for their first encounter in Greece on 21 October 1999 – in which PAOK's Giorgos Georgiadis was sent off after 65 minutes - were:
PAOK: Čović, Venetidis, Katsiambis, Dollberg, Machiaridis, Marangos, Nagbe, Froussos (Vryzas 73), Georgiadis, Sabry (Frantzeskos 83), Tetradze (Bandović 55).
Benfica: Enke, Okunowo (Luís Andrade 46), Paulo Madeira, Poborský, João Pinto (Chano 65), Ronaldo Guiaro, Kandaurov, Maniche, Nuno Gomes, José Calado, Sérgio Nunes (Basto 46).
• Stevens lost to Benfica with Roda JC in the second round of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup: his charges were beaten 1-0 in Lisbon and drew the return fixture 2-2, conceding two Hassan Nader goals in the last three minutes.
• PAOK's overall record in four games against Portuguese clubs is: W2 D0 L2 (W1 D0 L1 in Greece – W1 D0 L1 in Portugal).
• Benfica's 13 matches against Greek sides have ended: W6 D1 L6 (W4 D1 L1 at home – W2 D0 L5 in Greece).
• PAOK made it through the group stage unbeaten (W3 D3) having replaced FC Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Champions League play-offs after the Ukrainian side, who had beaten PAOK in the third qualifying round, were excluded from Europe. PAOK then lost 4-3 on aggregate to FC Schalke 04, but moved into the UEFA Europa League.
• PAOK have not kept a clean sheet in ten European home games (W5 D2 L3) since a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• After stepping down from the UEFA Champions League group stage to enter the round of 32, Benfica are on target to reach the final for the second season in succession, having lost 2-1 to Chelsea FC in the 2013 decider in Amsterdam.
• A 3-2 victory at RSC Anderlecht on matchday five ended Benfica's four-game barren run on the road in Europe (D1 L3).
• PAOK midfielder Kostas Katsouranis played for Benfica from 2006–09. He captained the side at times and was named Benfica player of the year in 2009, when he won the Portuguese League Cup – his only trophy with the Eagles.
• Miguel Vítor started his career at Benfica, coming through the youth department and making 24 league appearances for the club before heading to PAOK in 2013.
• Benfica defender Luisão could make his 100th UEFA club competition appearance on matchday seven.
• PAOK right-back Giannis Skondras turns 24 the day after the first leg.
• Benfica's Serbian defender Ljubomir Fejsa has Greek experience, having represented Olympiacos FC from 2011–13, winning two domestic doubles.
• PAOK left-back Lino played in Portugal with A. Académica de Coimbra and FC Porto before moving to Greece in 2009.
• With 66 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League appearances (including qualifying), PAOK's Dimitris Salpingidis is joint fifth with Enzo Scifo in the competitions' all-time appearances standings: one more game would put him level with Walid Badier in fourth. Walter Zenga is third in the standings with 69 games.
• PAOK FC extended their UEFA Europa League record sequence of away matches (excluding qualifying) without defeat to nine – three more than any other club – with their 2-0 success at FC Shakhter Karagandy on matchday five.
• PAOK coach since June 2013, Stevens won the UEFA Cup as a player with PSV Eindhoven in 1977/78 and as FC Schalke 04 coach in 1996/97. A defender, he spent his best years as a player with PSV, who he later coached. Schalke fans named him as their coach of the century in 1999, and he was also in charge at 1. FC Köln, Hamburger SV and FC Salzburg before embarking on a second, less successful stint with Schalke in 2011.
• Juventus's Antonio Conte (Juventus 1993) and AFC Ajax's Frank de Boer (Ajax 1992) also won the UEFA Cup as players.
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus followed in his father Jesus Virgolino's footsteps by signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal as a youngster and was a journeyman midfielder before moving into coaching. He took charge of a number of Portuguese clubs and was given the Benfica job in June 2009 after leading SC Braga to the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. He guided the Eagles to the title in his first campaign and to the final of last season's UEFA Europa League.
Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk or Tottenham Hotspur FC in the round of 16, playing the second leg at home.
• PAOK have never met Dnipro, but drew 0-0 at home and won 2-1 away against Spurs in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Benfica beat Dnipro 4-0 on aggregate in the last eight en route to losing the 1989/90 European Champion Clubs' Cup final. They overcame Spurs 4-3 on aggregate in the sides' only previous meeting, in the 1961/62 European Cup semi-finals, with Benfica going on to win the competition, defeating Real Madrid CF 5-3 in the showpiece in Amsterdam.
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