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Benfica visit offers PSG chance to improve

Both teams won on matchday one and now Paris Saint-Germain FC take on SL Benfica in Group C looking to improve after coming off second best in the sides' two previous ties.

Nicolás Gaitán scored at the Parc des Princes as Benfica beat PSG in 2011
Nicolás Gaitán scored at the Parc des Princes as Benfica beat PSG in 2011 ©AFP/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain FC host SL Benfica on matchday two in the UEFA Champions League with room for improvement after losing out in the sides' two previous ties.

• Both sides opened their Group C campaigns with wins, PSG defeating Olympiacos FC 4-1 away and Benfica seeing off RSC Anderlecht 2-0.

Previous meetings
• The teams met two years ago in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 when Benfica successfully defended their 2-1 lead from the first leg, drawing 1-1 at Parc des Princes.

• The Lisbon club had come from behind in the first game after Péguy Luyindula opened the scoring. They levelled through Maxi Pereira with Franco Jara scoring the winner.

• Benfica increased that advantage in France with Nicolás Gaitán's 27th-minute strike and although Mathieu Bodmer's sumptuous volley brought the scores level on the night, Jorge Jesus' men went through.

• The lineups in Paris on 17 March 2011 were:
PSG: Apoula Édel, Ceará (Maurice 44), Sakho, Tiéné, Mevlüt Erdinç (Giuly 68), Makelele, Bodmer (Hoarau 68), Nenê, Chantôme, Armand, Jallet.
Benfica: Roberto, Luisão, Javi García, Cardozo, Salvio, Aimar (César Peixoto 80), Maxi Pereira, Coentrão, Gaitán (Jardel 90), Sidnei, Saviola (Carlos Martins 64).

• The sides' only other fixtures came in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 16, with Fernando Santos' Benfica losing 2-1 to Paul Le Guen's PSG in Paris, but prevailing with a 3-1 victory in Lisbon. Simão's 89th-minute penalty proved to be decisive following Youssuf Mulumbu's dismissal for a foul on Léo in the box.

Match background
• PSG, in the group stage for the sixth time, are unbeaten in all six home games against Portuguese opposition, winning four and drawing two.

• The last meeting came in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage when they beat FC Porto 2-1 to claim first place in the section, having lost 1-0 in Portugal. Home and away against Portuguese teams, their record is W5 D3 L4.

• Benfica's last visit to France came in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 when a 3-2 win at FC Girondins de Bordeaux completed a 4-2 aggregate win and made it four wins in their last five fixtures overall against Ligue 1 opposition.

• Their 24 fixtures against French sides ended W12 D6 L6 (W4 D2 L6 in France)

• Last year PSG reached the quarter-finals where they drew 2-2 at home to FC Barcelona and 1-1 in Spain, going out on away goals. They had started with a 4-1 home win against FC Dynamo Kyiv and also overcame GNK Dinamo Zagreb (4-0) and Porto. In the round of 16 the French champions won 2-1 at Valencia CF, the home leg ending 1-1.

• In their ninth participation, the Eagles, twice winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, will be looking to improve on last season's campaign when they finished third in the group. They began with a 0-0 draw away to Celtic FC and also lost 2-1 at FC Spartak Moskva and drew 0-0 at FC Barcelona.

• The Portuguese side subsequently entered the UEFA Europa League and first won away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen before victory in Bordeaux. In the quarter-finals they drew 1-1 at Newcastle United FC for a 4-2 aggregate success and then made light of a 1-0 defeat at Fenerbahçe SK to win 3-1 at home in the semi-final second leg.

• In the Amsterdam final Benfica lost 2-1 to Chelsea FC. Óscar Cardozo's penalty drew them level following Fernando Torres' opener only for Branislav Ivanović to head a winner in the last minute of added time.

Team ties
•Jorge Jesus faced PSG in the 2008/09 UEFA Europa League while in charge of SC Braga, losing 1-0 on aggregate in the round of 16.

• Nico Gaitán, Ezequiel Garay, Eduardo Salvio and Enzo Peréz have played alongside Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi for Argentina.

• Luisão played alongside Thiago Silva and Alex in two friendlies for Brazil in 2006 and 2011 respectively.

• Maxwell and Luisão were team-mates at Cruzeiro EC in 2000/01.

• Nemanja Matić played with Alex at Chelsea in 2009/10.

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