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Braga aim to break English duck

SC Braga will meet up with their third Premier League opponents in as many seasons as Portsmouth FC kick off their first UEFA Cup group stage campaign having only ever played Portuguese sides in Europe.

Defender Paulo Jorge in action for Braga
Defender Paulo Jorge in action for Braga ©Getty Images

SC Braga will meet their third Premier League opponents in as many seasons as Portsmouth FC kick off their first UEFA Cup group stage campaign with their third successive European match against a Portuguese side.

• This is Braga and Portsmouth's first meeting in UEFA club competition, hardly surprising as it is the English club's debut season in Europe.

• Braga have played seven games against English sides in UEFA club competition, and have yet to record a win. They have lost all three of their home games against visitors from England. However, they avoided defeat against a Premier League team for the first time last season when they earned a 1-1 UEFA Cup group stage draw at Bolton Wanderers FC.

• Braga have met English sides in their last two UEFA Cup campaigns. In 2006/07 they lost 6-4 to Tottenham Hotspur FC in the Round of 16, and last term had their encounter with Bolton.

• Oddly, this will be Portsmouth's third successive meeting with Portuguese opponents. They beat Vitória SC 2-0 at home in their debut European game in the first round of this season's UEFA Cup, but had to score twice in extra time at Guimarães to progress, having lost 2-0 over 90 minutes.

• Braga were one of the eleven winners of this summer's final UEFA Intertoto Cup, beating Sivasspor 5-0 over two legs to move into the UEFA Cup. They then beat NK Zrinjski and FC Artmedia Petržalka without conceding a goal to reach the group stage.

• Portsmouth qualified for the UEFA Cup by winning the FA Cup for the first time since 1939, beating Cardiff City FC 1-0 in the final.

• While it is Portsmouth's first European campaign, manager Harry Redknapp has been in the UEFA Cup before during his time in charge of West Ham United FC.

• The match may see former Liverpool FC players in action on both sides, albeit from opposite sides of the Atlantic. Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch left the English club Liverpool to rejoin Pompey this summer, while Braga's Luis Aguiar started his career with the Montevideo-based outfit of the same name.

• Two former Chelsea FC team-mates will also be on opposite benches. Braga winger Filipe Oliveira played at Stamford Bridge between 2002 and 2005 while Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson played for Chelsea between 2003 and 2007.

• SC Heerenveen take on AC Milan in Matchday 1's other Group E game. VfL Wolfsburg are the only side in the section not in action on 23 October.