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Benfica trip stirs happy memories for Anderlecht

SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht have each won three of their eight meetings but older supporters of the Belgian club will recall their triumph in the 1983 UEFA Cup final.

Óscar Cardozo (left) scored both goals in last season's group stage win against Spartak Moskva
Óscar Cardozo (left) scored both goals in last season's group stage win against Spartak Moskva ©AFP/Getty Images

SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht meet for the first time in nine seasons as they get proceedings in Group C of the UEFA Champions League under way, although it is a tie from 31 seasons ago that will stir the most significant memories.

• Although both clubs have won three of their eight meetings, the Belgian side had the upper hand the last time they played and also when the teams faced off in the 1983 UEFA Cup final.

Previous meetings
• The teams last met in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round when Benfica won 1-0 in Lisbon – Zlatko Zahovič scoring the only goal in the 13th minute – but then lost 3-0 away. Olivier Deschacht, Anthony Vanden Borre and Anderlecht assistant coach Besnik Hasi all played in the games, as did Luisão.

• The teams for the encounter at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 10 August 2004 were:
Benfica: Quesnel, Argel, Almeida, Petit, Zahovič (Aguiar 60), Dos Santos, Simão, Miguel, Šokota (Karadas 72), Rocha, Pereira.
Anderlecht: Zítka, Deschacht, Żewłakow (Vanden Borre 83), Lovre, Kompany, Baseggio, Hasi, Wilhelmsson, Dindane, Traoré, Mpenza (Yashchuk 77).

• In eight meetings each side has posted three home wins and two draws (one home, one away). In the 1987/88 European Cup quarter-finals Benfica's 2-0 home win saw them through despite a 1-0 reverse in the return.

• In the 1983 UEFA Cup final Anderlecht defended their 1-0 home win with a 1-1 draw in Lisbon.

• Benfica assistant coach Minervino Pietra and the club's technical secretary Shéu Han both played in that final.

• In nine games against other Belgian sides Benfica have only succumbed once, winning six and drawing two. Anderlecht will be looking for their first win in Portugal in a competitive fixture. In a total of nine visits they have lost six and drawn three.

Match background
• Benfica, in their ninth participation, finished third in their group last season. They began with a 0-0 draw away to Celtic FC and at home lost 2-0 to FC Barcelona before beating FC Spartak Moskva 2-0 and Celtic 2-1.

• The Portuguese side subsequently entered the UEFA Europa League and won all four home games en route to the final, where they lost 2-1 to Chelsea FC. Óscar Cardozo's penalty drew Benfica level following Fernando Torres' opener only for Branislav Ivanović to head a winner in the last minute of added time.

• In their tenth UEFA Champions League participation Anderlecht's aim will be to improve on recent performances. They finished bottom of Group C last season and suffered the same fate in their other five group stage campaigns since progressing to the last 16 in 2000/01.

• In those six seasons the Belgian side have won just four fixtures and have not tasted victory away since a 1-0 success at Real Betis Balompié in their last match of the 2005/06 group stage.

• Their subsequent six games on their travels in the competition proper have produced four draws and two defeats. Their last two fixtures on matchday one both ended in draws.

Team ties
• Lazar Marković and Aleksandar Mitrović are products of FK Partizan's youth system and team-mates in the Serbian national team.

• Stefan Mitrović played in Belgium for KV Kortrijk in 2012/13, although he did not play against Anderlecht.

• Miralem Sulejmani scored both goals in AFC Ajax's 2-0 win against Anderlecht in a UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg tie at Amsterdam ArenA on 24 February 2011.

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