FC Porto face Russian opponents for the second UEFA Europa League tie in succession, looking to inflict the same result on FC Spartak Moskva that they managed against PFC CSKA Moskva.
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Fresh from sealing their 25th domestic title, FC Porto face Russian opponents for the second UEFA Europa League tie in succession, looking to inflict the same result on FC Spartak Moskva in the quarter-finals that they managed against PFC CSKA Moskva last time out.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• Porto have played six games against Russian opposition – more specifically six against CSKA Moskva – with the record W4 D2 L0 (W1 D2 L0 at home).
• Porto eliminated CSKA in the previous round of this season's UEFA Europa League, winning 1-0 in Moscow and 2-1 at home; Zoran Tošić's effort in that latter fixture was the first goal Porto had conceded against a Russian side.
• Spartak's record in six matches against Portuguese clubs is W3 D2 L1 (W2 D0 L1 in Portugal). They scored three goals in each of their previous two visits to Portugal, beating Sporting Clube de Portugal in UEFA Champions League group stage games in 2000 (3-0) and 2006 (3-1).
• Russian and Portuguese sides have never met in the quarter-finals of a UEFA club competition before. Indeed, only once have teams representing the two nations gone head to head in the last eight or further of a UEFA tournament, with CSKA beating Sporting 3-1 in the 2005 UEFA Cup final.
• Porto have lost only one of their last seven European home games, going down 1-0 to Sevilla FC in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie this season. The other six matches in that sequence produced five wins and a draw.
• Spartak have lost only one of their last eight European away fixtures, 4-1 at Chelsea FC in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage. That run includes a draw and six wins – including all three of their most recent results on the road.
• Helton, João Moutinho and Hulk have featured in all ten of Porto's games since the start of the UEFA Europa League group stage, with goalkeeper Helton not missing a single minute of their campaign.
• Falcao is Porto's top scorer in the competition with seven goals. Only Villarreal CF's Giuseppe Rossi – on eight – having struck more in the competition this season.
• Dmitri Kombarov and Alex are Spartak's top UEFA Europa League scorers this season with two goals each since the People's Club entered the competition in the round of 32.
• Porto are the second highest scoring side left in the competition with 19 goals, one fewer than FC Dynamo Kyiv.
• Spartak's Brazilian midfielder Ibson joined the club in 2009 at the end of a four-year spell at Porto, during which he won two league titles and a Portuguese Cup. He scored twice in 46 league games for the club but spent the latter years of his spell at the Estádio do Dragão on loan with his first side, CR Flamengo.
• After the draw, Spartak coach Valeri Karpin said: "Porto are not easy opponents; they are the favourites to win the whole tournament. It would have been better to play against them in the final."
• Karpin featured in two games against Portuguese opponents while a midfielder at RC Celta de Vigo, with his side meeting SL Benfica in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round. Karpin scored twice in a 7-0 home win – the Eagles' worst ever European result – and featured in the return leg, a 1-1 draw in Lisbon.
• Porto have fielded some notable former Spartak players. Midfielder Vasili Kulkov and striker Sergei Yuran were title winners in their lone season at the club in 1994/95, while Dmitri Alenichev (2000-04) scored in Porto's 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final wins, as well lifting two Liga titles and two Portuguese Cups with the Dragons. He now coaches Russia's Under-17 team.
• Porto striker Walter and Spartak playmaker Alex were team-mates at Brazilian side SC Internacional in 2008.
• With SC Braga and Benfica also in the running, this is the first time three Portuguese sides have made the quarter-finals of the same UEFA competition.
• All four UEFA Europa League quarter-finals pit sides that have been in this competition since the start of the group stage (Dynamo Kyiv, Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Villarreal) against clubs that transferred from the UEFA Champions League group stage (Spartak, FC Twente, Braga and Benfica).
• The overall winners will take on the victors in the contest between Villarreal and Twente in the semi-finals on 28 April and 5 May, playing the first leg at home. The winners of that tie will be the nominal home side in the final at the Dublin Arena on 18 May.