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Zürich out to end Portuguese hoodoo against Sporting

FC Zürich will be looking to claim their first victory against Portuguese opposition in UEFA competition while the visitors will be spurred on by having won their last three matches on Swiss soil.

Urs Fischer's Zürich side have won only one of their last five European home games
Urs Fischer's Zürich side have won only one of their last five European home games ©Getty Images

FC Zürich will hope to improve on their last performance against Sporting Clube de Portugal as the sides meet again in UEFA Europa League Group D, 37 years on from their last encounter.

Previous meetings
• Mário Lino's Sporting beat Friedhelm Konietzka's Zürich 4-1 on aggregate in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals in the sides' only previous UEFA club competition meeting.

• Their teams for the second leg of that tie – a 1-1 draw at the Letzigrund Stadium on 20 March 1974 – were.
rich: Grob, Heer (Senn, 78), Marti, Zigerlig (Rutschmann, 46), Bionda, Kuhn, Martinelli, Katić, Jeandupeux, Stierli, Botteron.
Sporting: Damas, José Carlos, Bastos, Alhinho, Carlos Pereira, Nélson, Vagner (Chico Faria 70), Baltasar (Fraguito 82), Marinho, Yazalde, Dinis.

• The sides previously met in the third round of the 1968 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the non-UEFA affiliated predecessor of the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Zürich prevailed, winning 3-0 at home and losing 1-0 in Lisbon.

Match background
• Zürich's record in four UEFA games against Portuguese opposition reads W0 D2 L2, with both of those draws – a 1-1 against SL Benfica in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup following the same scoreline against Sporting in 1974 – coming at home.

• Sporting's ten matches against Swiss teams ended W6 D2 L2 (W3 D1 L1 in Switzerland). They have won their last three games on Swiss soil since a 1-0 loss at Neuchâtel Xamax FC in the UEFA Cup third round on 9 December 1981.

• Zürich have won only one of their last five European home games, 1-0 against R. Standard de Liège in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• Sporting are without a win in four away games (two defeats followed by two draws) since a 2-1 victory at LOSC Lille Métropole in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Team facts
• Sporting coach Domingos Paciência made his name in Europe last season by leading SC Braga to the UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin.

• Zürich boss Urs Fischer joined the club as a youth player in the early 1970s, played for them as a defender in two spells (1984-87 and 1996-2003) and took charge of the club as coach in 2010, following a spell as assistant to Bernard Challandes in 2007/08.

• Zürich defender Jorge Teixeira started his career as a trainee with Sporting, winning the 2005 Portuguese youth title in a team which featured Sporting winger Yannick Djaló, and was coached by national-team boss Paulo Bento.

• He was excited to be playing his old club in Europe, saying: "Sporting were crucial in my career. It will be also a good opportunity to show what I can do and make my name in Portugal."

• Zürich's Serbian midfielder Milan Gajić played in Portugal with Boavista FC, making three league appearances in 2007/08 while on loan from FK Napredak Kruševac.

• Zürich defender Philippe Koch and forward Admir Mehmedi were on the losing side against Sporting winger Diego Capel (a late substitute) as Switzerland succumbed 2-0 to Spain in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final this summer.

• Sporting summer signing Oguchi Onyewu was a second half substitute in AC Milan's 1-0 loss at home against Zürich in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage; Johnny Leoni, Heinz Barmettler, Philippe Koch, Silvan Aegerter, Dusan Djurić, Milan Gajić and Alexandre Alphonse were on the winning side.

• Sporting's Santiago Árias received an early red card as a Switzerland side featuring Zürich's Ricardo Rodriguez beat Colombia 4-0 to reach the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup final.

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