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Benfica bid for home recovery against Spartak

SL Benfica have lost their last two home fixtures and, having gone down at FC Spartak Moskva on matchday three, can ill afford another setback in their Group G rematch.

Jorge Jesus is plotting a return to winning ways for Benfica in Lisbon
Jorge Jesus is plotting a return to winning ways for Benfica in Lisbon ©Getty Images

SL Benfica will look to get back to winning ways at home when they host FC Spartak Moskva on matchday four.

• The Portuguese side slipped to fourth in Group G when they went down 2-1 in Moscow last time out and with one point, two adrift of third-placed Spartak, need a first victory in this season's group stage to kick-start their campaign.

Match background
• Beaten by FC Barcelona in Lisbon on matchday two, Jorge Jesus's Benfica have now lost two in a row at home in UEFA competition following their 1-0 reverse against Chelsea FC in last season's quarter-finals. They have never before suffered three straight home defeats in Europe so will want to avoid an unwanted first against Unai Emery's visitors.

• Prior to those two recent defeats Benfica had gone ten European home games unbeaten, culminating in a 2-0 victory against FC Zenit St Petersburg in last term's UEFA Champions League round of 16, as Maxi Pereira and Nélson Oliveira's goals overturned a 3-2 first-leg deficit.

• With that win over Zenit, Benfica maintained an unbeaten home record against Russian opposition which stands now at W3 D2 L0.

• Spartak were narrow 3-2 losers at Barcelona in their previous Group G away outing having previously held Fenerbahçe SK 1-1 in Istanbul in the play-offs. Overall they have suffered just three defeats in their last ten European away fixtures, winning four of them.

• The last time Spartak visited Portuguese opposition in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League quarter-final against FC Porto, they lost 5-1 en route to a 10-3 aggregate defeat. Dmitri Kombarov hit a 70th-minute own goal, his twin brother Kirill scoring in the right net 60 seconds later.

• Spartak's record in Portugal is W2 L2, both victories coming in the UEFA Champions League and in Lisbon at Benfica's neighbours Sporting Clube de Portugal – 3-0 in the 2000/01 first group stage and 3-1 in the 2006/07 group stage, when Artem Dzyuba appeared as an added-time substitute.

Team ties
• Emery's first European coaching assignment came in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round where his Valencia CF side took on CS Marítimo. After a 1-0 victory in Madeira, Emery's men recorded a 2-1 home success.

• Benfica assistant coach Minervino Pietra was in the team that overcame their first ever Russian opponents, FC Torpedo Moskva, converting a spot kick in a 4-1 shoot-out success after two goalless draws in the 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.

• Aiden McGeady struck the only goal of Celtic's home UEFA Champions League group win against Benfica on 6 November 2007. It made amends for Benfica's 1-0 victory in Lisbon a fortnight earlier and proved decisive in securing Celtic second place ahead of the Eagles. McGeady also featured as a substitute in Celtic's 3-0 loss at Benfica in the 2006/07 group stage.

• Kim Källström was a second-half substitute in Olympique Lyonnais' 2-0 home success against ten-man Benfica in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Diniyar Bilyaletdinov played in the Everton FC side twice beaten by Benfica in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage – losing 5-0 in Lisbon then 2-0 at home.

• Dmitri Kombarov played 90 minutes as Russia beat Portugal 1-0 in FIFA World Cup qualifying in Moscow on 12 October. Dzyuba and Bilyaletdinov were unused substitutes.

• Luisão is the only survivor of Benfica's 3-1 aggregate loss to eventual winners PFC CSKA Moskva in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32.

• Pablo Aimar provided two assists as Valencia beat Spartak 3-0 in Moscow in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Pereira helped Uruguay claim a 1-1 friendly draw with Kombarov's Russia in Moscow in May.

• Marek Suchý was an unused substitute for the Czech Republic side beaten by Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals.

• José Manuel Jurado was an unused substitute as FC Schalke 04 defeated Ola John's FC Twente in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32. John was involved when Twente beat Zenit in the last 16 of the 2010/11 competition.

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