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.
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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.