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Porto v Roma background

Porto and Roma meet for the first time since November 1981 in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, with the home side seeking a positive start under new coach Nuno Espírito Santo.

New Porto boss Nuno Espírito Santo
New Porto boss Nuno Espírito Santo ©AFP/Getty Images

New Porto coach Nuno Espírito Santo faces a tough opening European game as the Dragons bid to dislodge Roma in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Previous meetings
• The clubs' only past UEFA competition encounters were in the 1981/82 European Cup Winners' Cup second round; Herman Stessl's Porto triumphed 2-0 at home and drew 0-0 away a fortnight later.

• Porto's record in 26 games against Italian sides is W7 D8 L11 (W4 D5 L3 at home – W3 D3 L6 in Italy). These matches include two played on neutral territory: a 2-1 loss to Juventus in the 1984 European Cup Winners' Cup final in Basel and a 1-0 defeat by AC Milan in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.

• Roma's record in 12 encounters with Portuguese clubs is W5 D4 L3 (W3 D2 L1 at home – W2 D2 L2 in Portugal).

Match background
• Porto have lost their last four UEFA matches without scoring.

Porto ousted LOSC in their only previous play-off
Porto ousted LOSC in their only previous play-off©AFP/Getty Images

• The Dragons made their UEFA Champions League play-off debut in 2014/15, beating LOSC Lille 1-0 away and 2-0 at home.

• Roma have failed to score in their past three European fixtures. The Giallorossi made it to the round of 16 last term, losing 4-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid.

• This is Roma's first UEFA Champions League play-off – they have twice appeared in UEFA Europa League play-offs, comfortably eliminating Košice in 2009/10 (in Luciano Spalletti's first spell as coach) but bowing out to Slovan Bratislava in 2011/12.

Team and coach links
• Roma's Argentinian forward Juan Iturbe was a Porto player from December 2011 to August 2013, but made only 11 apearances for the Dragons, six in the Portuguese Liga.

• Roma boast Portuguese talent in the form of defender Mário Rui, a youth-team player for Benfica and Sporting who has been in Italy since 2011.

• Porto's Danilo Pereira (Parma 2010–12) and Alex Telles (Internazionale Milano 2015–16) have all played in Italy.

Roma's Juan Iturbe is a former Porto player
Roma's Juan Iturbe is a former Porto player©AFP/Getty Images

• Porto's Brazilian midfielder Otávio and Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker were team-mates in Brazil with Porto Alegre-based Internacional.

• New Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsńy was an unused substitute as Poland lost on penalties to a Portugal side featuring Porto's Danilo Pereira in the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-finals.

• Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas was on the bench as Spain lost 2-0 to an Italy side featuring Roma's Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16. Casillas also faced De Rossi twice at UEFA EURO 2012; Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final after the sides drew 1-1 in the group stage.

• Casillas faced Roma seven times as a Real Madrid player with the record W4 L3.

Coach profiles
• Sao Tome-born Nuno Espírito Santo rejoined Porto in June 2016, having previously represented the club in two spells as a back-up goalkeeper, succeeding José Peseiro. Initially a specialist goalkeeping coach, he impressed as boss of Rio Ave, then spent 16 months as Valencia boss from July 2014 to November 2015.

• Luciano Spalletti took charge of Roma for a second time in January 2016. The one-time midfielder made his name as a coach by earning Udinese a UEFA Champions League place, and won the Coppa Italia twice as Roma boss between 2005-09. He coached Zenit to two titles and a Russian Cup from 2009 to 2014.

• Spalletti faced Porto four times as Zenit coach without losing (W2 D2).