A 5-0 mauling in Lisbon on Matchday 3 saw Everton lose top spot in Group I to SL Benfica, but David Moyes's side will fancy their chances of reclaiming pole position given their fine home form in Europe.
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A 5-0 mauling in Lisbon on Matchday 3 saw Everton lose top spot in Group I to SL Benfica, but given their fine home form in Europe, David Moyes's side will fancy their chances of reclaiming pole position as the focus shifts to Goodison Park.
• The two teams had never met prior to Matchday 3, which marked Everton's first competitive game against Portuguese opposition. Benfica have played eleven competitive away matches against English sides, winning two and losing nine – this includes the final of the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup at Wembley, with Manchester United FC prevailing 4-1 after extra time.
• Benfica also lost the 1962/63 European Cup final in England, succumbing 2-1 to AC Milan at Wembley.
• The 5-0 victory over Everton on 22 October was Benfica's biggest home win in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League. It was also Everton's heaviest defeat in a UEFA fixture.
• Benfica have faced Everton's neighbours Liverpool FC on eight occasions. They lost the first five encounters, but won the last three, most recently prevailing 1-0 at home and 2-0 away in a 2005/06 UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie. Their record on Merseyside reads W1 D0 L3.
• Everton are unbeaten in nine European home games since a 2-1 defeat by Villarreal CF in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on 9 August 2005. They have won their last two home matches in the UEFA Europa League 4-0.
• Benfica are without a victory in seven European away matches since a 2-1 UEFA Champions League group-stage success at FC Shakhtar Donetsk on 4 December 2007.
• Everton's Scottish manager Moyes had an unremarkable career as a central defender after starting off as a trainee at Celtic FC. He played the bulk of his games for Shrewsbury Town FC, Dunfermline Athletic FC and Preston North End FC, whom he later coached before moving to Goodison in 2002.
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus had a fine European campaign last season with previous club SC Braga. He led them all the way from the UEFA Intertoto Cup to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, where they fell to Paris Saint-Germain FC.
• Benfica have more European experience than any other side in the group stage. This match will be their 313th in UEFA competition, one more than nearest rivals RSC Anderlecht.
• Everton striker Louis Saha scored twice against Benfica for former team Manchester United FC, registering in home and away group-stage victories in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.
• A 62,000 Goodison Park crowd saw legendary Benfica forward Eusébio score twice in Portugal's 3-1 defeat of Brazil in a group game at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Eusébio followed that with four more Goodison goals as Portugal recovered from being 3-0 down to beat North Korea 5-3 in their quarter-final. Everton's ground was then due to stage Portugal's semi-final against England, but the match was switched to Wembley at the last minute. The stadium had earlier welcomed the Portuguese national side for a game against England on 19 May 1951.
• The Toffeemen travelled to the Iberian peninsular as English champions for a pre-season friendly against Benfica on 8 August 1987. The match, held in La Coruna, Spain, ended in a 0-0 draw, with Benfica prevailing 5-3 in the ensuing penalty shoot-out.
• Benfica academy graduate Manuel Fernandes – now of Valencia CF – played 21 times for Everton in the Premier League during two separate loan spells, at the back end of the 2006/07 and 2007/08 campaigns. Former Portuguese international Abel Xavier was at Benfica between 1992 and 1995, before representing Everton from 1999 to 2001.
• Despite managing a solitary goal during a short stay on Merseyside in 1978, ex-Everton striker Mickey Walsh went on to terrorise Portuguese defences by scoring 42 goals in 75 games for Benfica's rivals FC Porto.
• Benfica visit FC BATE Borisov on Matchday 5, with Everton travelling to AEK Athens FC on the same day, 2 December.