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Sporting out to consolidate top spot against Lazio

Sporting Clube de Portugal host S.S. Lazio hoping to extend their lead at the top of UEFA Europa League Group D following a 2-0 success at FC Zürich last time round.

Emiliano Insúa scored Sporting's opening goal against Zürich
Emiliano Insúa scored Sporting's opening goal against Zürich ©Getty Images

Sporting Clube de Portugal take on S.S. Lazio in the UEFA Europa League, with the Lisbon side looking to strengthen their position at the top of Group D.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Sporting's 25 games against Italian sides in Europe ended W4 D10 L11 (W3 D7 L2 in Lisbon). They are unbeaten in their last three home ties against Serie A sides; a win and two 2-2 draws.

• Sporting took on Lazio's local rivals AS Roma in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, losing 2-1 in Rome and drawing 2-2 at home.

• Lazio's ten games against Portuguese sides have ended W6 D1 L3 (W2 D0 L3 in Portugal). They have never played a competitive game in Lisbon before.

Match background
• Sporting are unbeaten in five European games – two wins and three draws.

• They have also not lost in their last five UEFA home games – four wins and a draw.

• Lazio won 4-0 at PFC Levski Sofia in their opening UEFA Europa League group stage away game when they last competed at this level in 2009/10, but lost their remaining fixtures on the road.

Team facts
• Sporting's Stijn Schaars was fouled seven times on matchday one; more than any other player in the competition.

• Sporting forward Valeri Bozhinov played alongside Lazio's Cristian Ledesma at US Lecce (2002-05). The Bulgarian forward also played for ACF Fiorentina, Juventus and Parma FC.

• In his penultimate season in Italy, Bozhinov scored at the Stadio Olimpico to give Parma a 2-1 win against Lazio. In total, he has played nine games against Lazio, scoring three times.

• Sporting's Oguchi Onyewu was signed by AC Milan in 2009, but a serious knee injury meant he never played a league game for the club.

• Sporting's Anderson Polga was an unused substitute in the 2002 FIFA World Cup final when his Brazil side beat a Germany team featuring Lazio's Miroslav Klose 2-0 in Yokohama, Japan.

• Klose scored a goal in each leg as his FC Bayern München side beat Sporting 12-1 on aggregate in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

• Klose also struck in Germany's 3-2 win against Portugal in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2008.

• 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.

• Once a midfield colleague of Fabio Capello's at SPAL 1907, Lazio boss Edoardo Reja has been coaching since 1979, but did not make his Serie A debut until 1998, and had to wait another decade to make his European bow with SSC Napoli.

• Reja's Napoli took on Sporting's Lisbon rivals SL Benfica in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round, winning 3-2 at home but losing 2-0 in the Portuguese capital.