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Benfica ready for unsettled Nürnberg

SL Benfica and 1. FC Nürnberg meet for the first time in more than 45 years with the German side reeling following the sacking of coach Hans Meyer.

Nürnberg coach Hans Meyer
Nürnberg coach Hans Meyer ©Getty Images

SL Benfica and 1. FC Nürnberg meet for the first time in more than 45 years with the German side reeling following the sacking of coach Hans Meyer.

• Hired on 9 November 2005, Meyer led Nürnberg to German Cup success last season for the first time in 45 years, beating VfB Stuttgart 3-2 in the final. He was dismissed on Tuesday with his side lying 16th in the 18-team Bundesliga. His assistant, 49-year-old former East German international Jürgen Raab, has also been fired.

• Thomas von Heesen has been named as Meyer's replacement, signing a contract until 2009. The 46-year-old won the European Champion Clubs' Cup as a Hamburger SV player in 1983 and has since coached DSC Arminia Bielefeld and 1. FC Saarbrucken. The 42-year-old Michael Oenning has been named as his assistant.

• Benfica qualified for the Round of 32 after finishing third in UEFA Champions League Group D. Nürnberg finished second in UEFA Cup Group A.

• The two sides met in the quarter-finals of the 1961/62 European Champion Clubs' Cup, with Benfica winning 7-3 on aggregate en route to beating Real Madrid CF 5-3 in the final in Amsterdam to win the competition for the second season in succession.

• Cavém put Benfica ahead in the first leg in Germany, but two goals from Gustav Flachenecker either side of a Heinz Strehl strike saw Nürnberg win 3-1. Béla Guttman's Benfica thrashed Nürnberg 6-0 in the second leg, with José Águas and Eusébio both scoring within the first four minutes. Eusébio then scored another and Coluna also found the target, with José Augusto scoring twice in the second half.

• In total, Benfica have played 27 games against German sides, winning six, drawing nine and losing 12. In Lisbon, they have won six, drawn six and lost one.

• The two previous games against Benfica represent Nürnberg's only meetings with Portuguese opposition.

• Nürnberg have not lost in three away games in Europe this season, winning one and drawing two.

• Benfica coach José Antonio Camacho played 22 games against German opposition for Spain and Real Madrid CF participating in seven wins, six draws and nine defeats.

• Nürnberg striker Angelos Charisteas celebrated his 28th birthday on 9 February.

• Benfica defender Luisão turns 27 on 13 February.

• Nürnberg will host the second leg in Germany on 21 February. The aggregate winners will meet the victors of the tie between AEK Athens FC and Getafe CF in the Round of 16 on 6 and 12/13 March, playing the second leg at home.

• Winter UEFA Cup registrations
Benfica: In - László Sepsi, Makukula Aziza, Pedro Manuel.
Out – Organista, Bruno Costa, Gonzalo Bergessio, Fábio Coentrão.
Nürnberg: In - Jan Koller, Jacques Abardonado, Michael Kammermeyer.
Out – Joshua Kennedy, Chhunly Pagenburg, Dario Vidosic.