Benfica will be looking to finish Group E positively while AEK Athens are out to avoid a clean sweep of defeats.
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Benfica will be looking to finish their UEFA Champions League campaign on a positive note as they welcome an AEK Athens side eager to avoid a sixth successive Group E defeat.
• The Portuguese side have four points and will finish third in the section regardless of the result in Lisbon, transferring across to the UEFA Europa League after the winter break.
• AEK are the only side in this season's group stage still without a point – twenty teams have previously suffered six defeats in a UEFA Champions League group stage, most recently Benfica last season.
• The Greek side came from 0-2 down against Benfica on matchday two - Viktor Klonaridis scoring twice (53, 63) to cancel out early goals from Haris Seferović (6) and Alex Grimaldo (15) – only for substitute Alfa Semedo to give Benfica a decisive lead 16 minutes from time.
• Home sides held sway in the clubs' only meetings before this season, in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage. AEK won 1-0 in Athens on 1 October 2009, before a 2-1 Benfica success in Lisbon.
• That defeat at AEK proved Benfica's only blemish in the section as they went on to finish first with 15 points; AEK, in contrast, were bottom with four points. Benfica eventually lost to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.
• Benfica bounced back from losing 2-0 at home to Bayern on matchday one with that victory at AEK, but managed to take only one point from their next three games, losing at Ajax (0-1) and Bayern (1-5) either side of a 1-1 home draw against the Dutch club.
• Victory in Greece ended Benfica's eight-match losing run in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final – a Portuguese record.
• Benfica have still won only three of their last 16 European fixtures (D3 L10).
• Benfica kicked off this season in the third qualifying round with a 2-1 aggregate win against Fenerbahçe (1-0 home, 1-1 away). The first leg ended a run of seven successive European defeats – the Eagles failing to score in six of those, including the last five. Greece's PAOK were then defeated 5-2 over two legs in the play-offs (1-1 home, 4-1 away).
• Despite the victory against Fenerbahçe, Benfica have won only two of their last nine European games in Lisbon (D2 L5). They have failed to score more than one goal in all of their last 11 home European fixtures, managing just eight in total over that stretch.
• Benfica have won five of their eight home games against Greek clubs (D2 L1) but only two of their last five.
• The Eagles have won four of their last five games against Greek opponents, drawing the other.
• Benfica finished bottom of their section in 2017/18, losing all six games – the 20th time a club has gone through a UEFA Champions League group stage without picking up a point.
• Portuguese Liga runners-up in 2017/18, Benfica are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 14th time – and the ninth season in a row.
• The Lisbon giants have reached seven European Cup finals, winning the trophy in 1961 and 1962.
• After being beaten 3-0 at Ajax and losing 3-2 to Benfica – AEK's only goals in this season's group stage – the Greek champions suffered home and away defeats by Bayern, both 0-2. They were then beaten at home by Ajax by the same scoreline on matchday five.
• The current five-match losing streak has equalled AEK's longest run of defeats in Europe, matching the five straight reverses they suffered in autumn 2011 in the UEFA Europa League.
• AEK were 14 European games unbeaten (W4 D10), home and away, before the loss at Ajax. That result also ended a seven-match undefeated run away from home (W2 D5).
• This is AEK's fifth UEFA Champions League group campaign, and all have ended at this stage. Their last appearance came in 2006/07, when they were unbeaten at home, picking up seven points in Athens and beating LOSC Lille and eventual champions AC Milan 1-0.
• Greek champions for the 12th time in 2017/18 – their first championship success since 1994 – AEK entered this season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, where they defeated Celtic 3-2 on aggregate (1-1 away, 2-1 home) to reach the play-offs. There they overcame Hungarian club Vidi 3-2 over two games (2-1 away, 1-1 home).
• The home win against Celtic ended AEK's run of eight successive draws in European competition.
• Last season AEK lost to CSKA Moskva in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they were ultimately eliminated by Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 32 despite avoiding defeat in all ten of their matches in the competition (W2 D8).
• AEK have lost all three of their away games against Portuguese clubs.
Links and trivia
• Odisseas Vlachodimos was coached by current AEK boss Marinos Ouzounidis at Panathinaikos between 2016 and 2018.
• Have played in Greece:
Odisseas Vlachodimos (Panathinaikos 2016–18)
Ljubomir Fejsa (Olympiacos 2011–13)
• Have played in Portugal:
Hélder Lopes (Mirandela 2008/09, Oliveira Douro 2009/10, Espinho 2010/11, Tondela 2011/12, Beira-Mar 2012/13, Paços Ferreira 2013–16)
André Simões (Padroense 2008–11, Santa Clara 2011–13, Moreirense 2013–15)
Rodrigo Galo (Gil Vicente 2008–11 & 2011/12 loan, Braga 2011/12, Académica 2012/13 loan, Paços Ferreira 2014/15)
Alef (Braga 2015/16)
• Rodrigo Galo's only league goal of 2017/18 was scored past Odisseas Vlachodimos in AEK's 3-0 defeat of Panathinaikos on 1 April.
• International team-mates:
Andrija Živković & Uroš Ćosić (Serbia U21)
• Have played together:
Facundo Ferreyra & Dmytro Chygrynskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk 2014–15)
Odisseas Vlachodimos & Niklas Hult (Panathinaikos 2016–17)
Odisseas Vlachodimos & Viktor Klonaridis (Panathinaikos 2016 & 2017)
Gabriel & Erik Móran (Leganés 2017)
Rafa Silva & Alef (Braga 2016)
Nicolás Castillo & Uroš Ćosić (Frosinone 2015)
• Benfica have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, the exception the matchday five loss at Bayern. They were 1-0 victors at Vitória FC on Saturday.
• Jonas, who got the only goal at the weekend, has scored six times in his last eight matches.
• On 1 December the Eagles defeated CD Feirense 4-0, equalling their biggest win of the season.
• Rafa Silva was on target against Feirense, his third goal in his last six games; his total of eight goals in 20 games in all competitions makes this his most prolific season for Benfica.
• Benfica will visit third division Montalegre in the last 16 of the Portuguese Cup later this month.
• On 5 December Benfica beat Paços de Ferreira 2-0 in the Portuguese League Cup group stage, meaning they need a point in their final fixture at Aves on 28 December to reach the semi-finals.
• Eduardo Salvio, who made his 250th Benfica appearance on matchday three, has been out since matchday four, initially with a sprained ankle and latterly due to an abdominal muscle problem.
• AEK got their first win in six matches in all competitions, ending a four-game losing streak, with a 2-0 defeat of Xanthi on 2 December. They beat Lamia by the same scoreline on Saturday, Ezequiel Ponce scoring in both games.
• The Athens club conclude their Greek Cup group stage campaign against Volos on 20 December, although wins against Lamia (2-1) and Apollon Larissa (4-0) have already ensured they will reach the last 16.
• Hélder Lopes underwent surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee against OFI Crete on 29 September. He is expected to return to action in March 2019.
• Tasos Bakasetas, André Simões and Vasilis Lampropoulos have been left out of AEK's squad in recent weeks following a decision by the club's administration.