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Bremen provide the first test for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur FC are back among Europe's elite after a 48-year absence and they begin their Group A campaign with a Matchday 1 visit to SV Werder Bremen.

Bremen provide the first test for Tottenham
Bremen provide the first test for Tottenham ©UEFA.com

Tottenham Hotspur FC will make their debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage at the Weserstadion, home of a SV Werder Bremen side who have waited rather less time to return to the European limelight.

• Spurs' only previous European Champion Clubs' Cup appearance was back in 1961/62 when they reached the semi-finals before losing to SL Benfica. Bremen, by contrast, are back in the group stage after an absence of only 12 months, their failure to qualify last term halting a sequence of five consecutive appearances.

Match background
• This is the first meeting between two teams who both qualified through the play-offs. Bremen, third in the Bundesliga last term, defeated UC Sampdoria 5-4 on aggregate, winning 3-1 at home before losing the return 3-2 after extra time in Genoa.

• Harry Redknapp's Tottenham, who finished fourth in the Premier League in 2009/10, also suffered a 3-2 away defeat in their play-off against BSC Young Boys but bounced back with a 4-0 home victory in the second leg.

• Bremen won five and drew one of six home games in reaching the round of 16 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, where they lost out to Valencia CF on away goals.

• Bremen have only faced English opposition twice before – and both times during coach Thomas Schaaf's reign. Torsten Frings and Claudio Pizarro are the only survivors of the team that lost home and away to Tottenham's neighbours Arsenal FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• Per Mertesacker scored the only goal when Bremen beat Chelsea FC at the Weserstadion in the 2006/07 group stage. Schaaf's men had lost 2-0 in London on the opening matchday and eventually finished third in the group behind Chelsea and FC Barcelona.

• Tottenham's last visit to Germany was for a 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage game at Bayer 04 Leverkusen that they won 1-0 through a Dimitar Berbatov goal.

• The London club first faced German opposition in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup when they achieved 2-1 wins at 1. FC Köln and VfB Leipzig in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively to make the final.

• The Premier League club suffered their heaviest European defeat when going down 8-0 to Köln in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1995.

• Tottenham's record from eight away matches against Bundesliga outfits is three wins and five defeats.

Team ties
• Pizarro spent 2007/08 in England with Chelsea but scored only two league goals. He played against Tottenham in Chelsea's 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in January 2008, lasting 58 minutes before making way for Nicolas Anelka.

• This fixture brings together several players who met during the summer's FIFA World Cup. Bremen midfielder Daniel Jensen featured in Denmark's 2-1 win against a Cameroon side that included Tottenham duo Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Sébastien Bassong – a result that eliminated the west Africans. Mertesacker was in the Germany side that ran out 4-1 winners in the last 16 against an England team featuring Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe.

• Tottenham trio Vedran Ćorluka, Niko Kranjčar and Luka Modrić helped Croatia beat Germany 2-1 at UEFA EURO 2008. Bremen's Mertesacker, Frings and Clemens Fritz were on the losing side. The Bundesliga club's Austria defender Sebastian Prödl also lost to Croatia in the same tournament, a game in which Modrić scored the only goal.

• Modrić scored a penalty in the second leg but finished on the losing side when NK Dinamo Zagreb lost home and away to Bremen in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in 2007/08.