Having already secured their qualification for the knockout stage, the top two in Group C, FC Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal, will meet in Lisbon on Matchday 5 to try and settle who will advance as section winners.
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After confirming their qualification for the knockout stage last time out, the top two sides in Group C, FC Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal, will meet in Lisbon on Matchday 5 to try and decide who will advance as section winners.
• If Barcelona's progress was anticipated from the start, Sporting have broken new ground by reaching the last 16 of the modern-day UEFA Champions League for the first time and they can now look to gild the lily by chasing the victory against their Spanish visitors that would lift them to the group summit.
• Barcelona presently hold a one-point lead over their Portuguese rivals, meaning that only an away win at the Estádio José Alvalade would settle the question of who finishes first. A Sporting victory or a draw would leave the matter open until Matchday 6.
• Josep Guardiola's Barcelona won the teams' meeting at the start of the group stage, prevailing 3-1 at the Camp Nou on 16 September through goals from Rafael Márquez (21), Samuel Eto'o (60 pen) and Xavi Hernández (87). Tonel (72) was the scorer for Sporting.
• Barcelona had collected further wins at both FC Shakhtar Donetsk (2-1) and FC Basel 1893 (5-0) by the time they made sure of their last-16 place with a 1-1 home draw against Basel last time out.
• Sporting have not conceded a goal since their opening loss in Barcelona, defeating Basel 2-0 on Matchday 2 before then taking six points off Shakhtar with successive 1-0 victories in Donetsk and Lisbon.
• While Sporting had failed to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in four previous attempts, they do have some pedigree in the Europe's élite club competition, having reached the quarter-finals in 1982/83 where they went down 3-2 on aggregate to another Spanish side, Real Sociedad de Fútbol.
• Paulo Bento's team have won their last four home games in the UEFA Champions League and can point to a decent home record against Spanish opposition. In their seven previous matches against visitors from Spain in UEFA club competition, they recorded five wins, one draw and one defeat.
• The Lisbon club ran out 2-1 winners against Barcelona in the clubs' only previous encounter in the Portuguese capital. Having lost to a solitary Julio Alberto strike in the first leg, however, they ended up beaten on away goals in that UEFA Cup second-round tie in 1986/87.
• Manuel Negrete (41) and Raphael Meade (61) were Sporting's scorers in the second leg, with Roberto Fernández hitting the crucial away goal for Barcelona after 83 minutes.
• Barcelona's record away to Portuguese opposition is P9 W2 D3 L4. Their most recent cross-border trip yielded a 0-0 draw at SL Benfica in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, the Catalan club subsequently prevailing 2-0 on home soil en route to an eventual final triumph against Arsenal FC in Paris.
• Guardiola's team should arrive at the José Alvalade high on confidence given their formidable recent away record in the UEFA Champions League proper, where they have won seven and lost just one of their last ten games on the road.
• Sporting's Brazilian midfielder Fábio Rochemback – who rejoined the club from Middlesbrough FC in May – spent the 2001/02 and 2002/03 seasons with Barcelona, making 45 league appearances before embarking on his first two-year spell with the Lisbon outfit.
• Guardiola faced another Portuguese side, FC Porto, three times in the UEFA Champions League as a player – and finished on the winning side on each occasion, including the 1993/94 semi-final.