Fenerbahçe SK will not want to be reminded before the arrival of FC Internazionale Milano that their heaviest home defeat was inflicted by visitors from Milan.
As Fenerbahçe SK prepare to compete in their fifth UEFA Champions League campaign they will not want be reminded before the arrival of FC Internazionale Milano that their heaviest home defeat in the competition was inflicted by visitors from Milan.
• That came in November 2005 when Andriy Shevchenko equalled a competition record by scoring all the goals in a thumping 4-0 victory for AC Milan. Zico‘s team welcome Inter to the Sükrü Saraçoglu stadium on Matchday 1 determined that the outcome will be a lot different this time although history is not in their favour.
• In six home fixtures against opponents from Italy in UEFA club competition, Fenerbahçe have won only two and those games were the only time they managed to score. Away from Istanbul they have fared even worse, losing all five games in Italy, including the group stage fixture in 2005/06 against Milan 3-1.
• The first home success against Italian opposition was in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round when they beat Parma FC 1-0, thus ending a dispiriting run of three successive defeats, all by 1-0. They notched up their second win in last season's UEFA Cup group stage with a 3-0 dismissal of US Città di Palermo.
• Retaining their Turkish title enabled Fenerbahçe to enter the UEFA Champions League after an absence of one season. Their best campaign to date was in 2004/05 when they finished third in Group D; their first attempt was in 1996/97.
• Three years ago Fenerbahçe won three games in the group and began with a 1-0 home victory against AC Sparta Praha, the only time they have picked up a victory on Matchday 1. In 24 group fixtures they have only recorded five victories and have a total of 17 defeats - there have been only two draws.
• Inter, twice winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, in 1963/64 and 1964/65, have never previously met a Turkish team in the UEFA Champions League. There have been six such fixtures in the UEFA Cup, and coach Roberto Mancini's club have won all three home ties and one of the away games, 3-1 at Adanaspor AS. Their last game in the country came in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup first round when they drew 0-0 against Besiktas JK.
• In their eighth attempt to win the UEFA Champions League and their sixth successive season in the group stages, Inter will be hoping to go further than in the 2002/03 campaign which brought them a place in the semi-finals, their best achievement to date, particularly as their city rivals celebrated their third title success in Athens in May and their seventh European Champion Clubs' Cup crown in total. Some consolation came as Inter retained their Serie A title with a 22-point advantage over AS Roma.
• The Nerazzurri traditionally make a strong UEFA Champions League challenge but have become used to bowing out just before the action really intensifies. Last season, when they were beaten in the first knockout round by Valencia CF on the away goals rule, was the first time in three seasons that they had not won a place in the last eight.
• The campaign started poorly with defeats in the opening two fixtures and in neither game did Inter manage to score. It defied recent history because in the previous three editions they had always celebrated opening-game wins, in each case without the concession of a goal, with two coming away from home.
• Recent Fenerbahçe recruit Roberto Carlos began his European career with Inter during the 1995/96 campaign. He played 30 league games, scoring six goals, before leaving for Real Madrid CF.
• PSV Eindhoven and PFC CSKA Moskva are the other teams in Group G.