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Porto plot another Arsenal defeat

After a run of eleven home games unbeaten against English opponents, FC Porto have lost twice to Premier League clubs in the past year and will be out to make amends against Arsenal FC.

Porto plot another Arsenal defeat
Porto plot another Arsenal defeat ©UEFA.com

FC Porto will be hoping to avoid a third successive home defeat by English opponents in the UEFA Champions League when they welcome familiar foes Arsenal FC to the Estádio do Dragão in the first knockout round.

Previous meetings
• The Portuguese champions, who finished second in Group D, will seek motivation from their most recent game with Arsenal. In last season's group stage Porto beat the London side 2-0 with Bruno Alves and Lisandro on the scoresheet. It meant Porto finished top of Group G with Arsenal a point behind in second place.

• The teams for that 10 December 2008 encounter were:
Helton, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Lucho (Costa 78), Lisandro, Cristián Rodríguez (Mariano 78), Hulk (Guarín 88), Fucile, Rolando, Raul Meireles, Fernando.
Almunia, Eboué, Gallas, Djourou, Silvestre, Diaby (Gibbs 60), Denilson, Ramsey (Wilshere 59), Song (Randall 79), Vela, Bendtner.

• A much more experienced Arsenal outfit lined up in the first game between the sides which ended in a 4-0 victory for the English team, Porto's joint heaviest away defeat in the competition.

• The teams for that game on 30 September 2008 were:
Almunia, Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy, Fàbregas, Nasri (Eboué 65), Walcott (Vela 72), Denilson, Adebayor, Van Persie (Bendtner 65).
Helton, Bruno Alves, Benítez, Guarín, Lisandro, Cristián Rodríguez (Candeias 79), Rolando, Raul Meireles (Hulk 64), Costa, Săpunaru, Fernando (Lucho 46).

• Arsenal's only previous visit to Porto came in 2006/07, also on Matchday 6, when a goalless draw was enough to take the Gunners through as group winners after the teams finished on eleven points. The game at the Arsenal Stadium had ended 2-0 to the hosts.

Match background
• This is the sixth time in seven consecutive campaigns that Porto have reached the knockout rounds. Last season they lost to Manchester United FC in the quarter-finals after a 1-0 second-leg defeat at home. In the first knockout round they had eliminated Club Atlético de Madrid on away goals, drawing 2-2 in Spain and 0-0 at home.

• Prior to United's visit Porto were unbeaten against English visitors, eleven contests yielding five wins and six draws. United's 1-0 triumph was followed by Chelsea FC, who won by the same score in this season's group stage.

• After winning Group H by three points, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Olympiacos FC on Matchday 6, although their passage to the knockout rounds was already assured.

• Prior to their meetings with Porto, Arsenal had faced Portuguese opposition only once before in UEFA club competition, losing to SL Benfica in the 1991/92 the European Champion Clubs' Cup second round. After a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, the Gunners suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss in London.

• This is the tenth successive campaign in which Arsenal have advanced from the initial group stage. Last season they reached the semi-finals before also bowing out to Manchester United, losing 1-0 away and 3-1 at home.

Team ties
• Wenger was in charge of AS Monaco FC for their 1-1 draw at CF Os Belenenses in the first round of the 1989/90 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the French club winning the return 3-0.

• Samir Nasri was in the Olympique de Marseille side defeated 2-1 at Porto in the 2007/08 group stage.

• In December 2004 Nuno helped Porto beat a Chelsea team featuring William Gallas 2-1 in the group stage.

• Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles played in a Portugal team who lost 2-0 to Switzerland in Group A at UEFA EURO 2008. Johan Djourou was an unused substitute for the hosts.

• Nicklas Bendtner scored Denmark's first goal in a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win against Portugal in September 2008. Raul Meireles played for the home team, who managed a 1-1 draw in the Copenhagen return a year later. Bendtner was again on target with Raul Meireles and Bruno Alves in the Portugal side.

• Cristián Rodríguez was a late substitute in Paris Saint-Germain FC's 4-1 win against an AJ Auxerre side including Sagna in March 2006, seven months before they faced each other again in the teams' goalless draw.

• Rodríguez's PSG drew 1-1 against an Olympique de Marseille containing Nasri at the Stade Vélodrome in Ligue 1 on 4 February 2007.