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Atlético aiming for home revival

Without a victory in their last four home games in Europe, Club Atlético de Madrid will meet Sporting Clube de Portugal for the first time when the teams commence their round of 16 tie.

Simão struck to help Atlético past Galatasaray in the last 32
Simão struck to help Atlético past Galatasaray in the last 32 ©Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid will look to make up for their poor recent record against Portuguese sides when they welcome Sporting Clube de Portugal to the Spanish capital for the teams' round of 16 first-leg meeting.

Previous meetings
• This will be the first time the two clubs have met.

• Atlético have faced Portuguese opposition eight times in UEFA club competition, with their record reading W2 D2 L4 (W2 D1 L1 at home).

• Atlético lost 2-0 away and 3-0 at home against FC Porto in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage. They also met the Dragons in the first knockout round of the same competition last season, exiting on away goals.

• Sporting have contested 16 UEFA club competition matches with Spanish sides, and their record reads W5 D3 L8 (W0 D2 L6 in Spain).

• Sporting have yet to win in Spain, while their two previous trips to the capital to take on Real Madrid CF both ended in defeat: 1-0 in 1994 and 4-0 in 2000.

Match background
• Atlético are without a win in four European home games, recording three draws and the 3-0 loss to Porto since beating Panathinaikos FC 2-0 in this season's UEFA Champions League play-off round. However, they are unbeaten in 14 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League home outings (11 wins and three draws) since losing 3-1 to Parma FC in the 1998/99 semi-finals.

• Sporting have lost their last two UEFA Europa League away fixtures but kicked off the season with a pair of draws on their travels in UEFA Champions League qualifying and clinched wins in their first two UEFA Europa League group-stage fixtures outside Portugal.

Team facts
• Atlético's Portugal winger Simão started his career at Sporting, rising through the club's youth ranks before leaving for FC Barcelona in 1999. He later enjoyed a successful spell as captain of Sporting's local rivals SL Benfica (2001-07), playing in every game as they won the 2004/05 title – their first in 11 years.

• Having joined Atlético in 2007, Simão scored the 4,000th Liga goal in the club's history on 12 April 2009 in a game against RC Deportivo La Coruña.

• Atlético coach Quique Sánchez Flores and winger José Antonio Reyes both spent the 2008/09 season in Portugal at Benfica.

• Sporting's Marco Caneira played in Spain with Valencia CF (2004-06 and 2007-08), where he was coached for a while by Quique Flores, who led the club between 2005 and 2007.

• Sporting's Chilean midfielder Matías Fernández and Atlético's Uruguayan striker Diego Forlán played together at Villarreal CF in the 2006/07 season.

• Atlético's Brazilian midfielder Paulo Assunção played for CD Nacional (2002-04) and Porto (2005-08) prior to joining his current club.

• Atlético's next goal will be their 350th in UEFA club competition. The first leg with Sporting will be their 206th European game.

• French striker Florent Sinama Pongolle represented Atlético in their autumn campaign before joining Sporting during the winter transfer window. He is not eligible to play for the Lisbon outfit in Europe this season but may have some useful inside information to share with his new coach, Carlos Carvalhal.

• The tie concludes at the Estádio José Alvalade on 18 March. The draw for the quarter-finals will be staged the following day.