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Braga the next obstacle for Lech

After pushing Juventus into third in their UEFA Europa League group, KKS Lech Poznań will look to set a new high-water mark when they take on SC Braga for a round of 16 place.

Artjoms Rudņevs was in great goalscoring form for Lech in the group stage
Artjoms Rudņevs was in great goalscoring form for Lech in the group stage ©Getty Images

KKS Lech Poznań created a stir by qualifying for the round of 32 from a fearsome UEFA Europa League group and they will look to set a new high-water mark when they take on SC Braga for a last-16 place.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have never met in European competition and this will also be the first time either has been paired with a team from their opponents' home country.

Match background
• Polish champions Lech are unbeaten in their last four European home games, although only two of those ended in victory. In their last two Group A matches at Miejski Stadium, they beat Manchester City FC 3-1 before earning a 1-1 draw against Juventus.

• Braga have been alternating defeats and wins in their five away fixtures in Europe since the start of the season; if that pattern continues, they are due success in Poland.

• Lech are playing in the round of 32 for the second time, having reached this stage in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. They lost 4-3 on aggregate to Udinese Calcio in what was their maiden springtime UEFA club competition tie.

• Braga have reached the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League round of 32 in four of the last five seasons, drawing a blank last term. They have progressed to the round of 16 twice but lost out to SV Werder Bremen at this stage in 2007/08.

Team facts
• Braga are three goals shy of their 100th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 71st European fixture.

• The second leg of this tie will also be Braga's 50th game in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.

• Lech committed more fouls in the UEFA Europa League group stage than any other club now through to the last 32 – 110 in total.

• Lech's Serbian left-back Ivan Djurdjević knows a good deal about Portuguese football having represented SC Farense (2000–02), Vitória SC (2002–05) and CF Os Belenenses (2005–07) during a seven-year spell in the country prior to signing for Lech.

• Djurdjević is a former team-mate of two Braga players; he featured alongside forward Paulo César at Guimarães in 2002/03 and striker Albert Meyong at Belenenses in 2005/06.

• Braga's Brazilian forward Elton played in Poland, joining Legia Warszawa on loan from AD São Caetano for the first half of the 2006/07 season. He scored three goals in 11 league games.

• Braga coach Domingos Paciência was involved in three matches against Polish sides as an FC Porto player. He found the net when the Dragons beat ŁKS Łódź 2-0 at home during the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and also featured as they won the away leg 1-0.

• Meanwhile, the final European appearance of his playing career came at Wisła Kraków on 26 October 2000, when he came on as a substitute in the final minute of a goalless draw in the UEFA Cup.

• Lech coach José Maria Bakero contested five games against Portuguese sides as a midfielder with Real Sociedad de Fútbol and FC Barcelona; he was on the losing side in the first as Sporting Clube de Portugal beat Real Sociedad 1-0 but scored his maiden European goal when his side won the return encounter 2-0.

• He was a winner in the other three ties too, including Barcelona's one-legged home European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final win against Porto in 1994.

• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between AC Sparta Praha and Liverpool FC in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg away from home.

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