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Braga welcome Carvalhal home with Beşiktaş

Last year's finalists SC Braga will be up against a former coach and a lifelong supporter when Carlos Carvalhal returns to Portugal with Beşiktaş JK in the round of 32.

Braga are aiming for more UEFA Europa League knockout success
Braga are aiming for more UEFA Europa League knockout success ©Getty Images

SC Braga will be up against a former coach and lifelong supporter as Carlos Carvalhal's Beşiktaş JK and their substantial Portuguese contingent head west for their UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg.

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Braga beat Sivasspor 5-0 on aggregate (2-0 away and 3-0 at home) in the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round in their only previous meeting with Turkish opposition.

• Beşiktaş's five matches against Portuguese sides have ended W1 D1 L3 (W1 D1 L1 in Portugal). They are without a win in four games against Liga opposition having won their first match, 3-1 at Vitória SC in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.

Match background
• Beaten UEFA Europa League finalists last season, Braga have lost just once in eight European games this season, also recording three wins and four draws. That defeat – against Club Brugge KV – is their only loss in ten European home games, seven of which have ended in victory.

• Braga have reached the round of 32 for the fifth time in the last six seasons; on only one of those previous occasions – in 2007/08 – have they failed to progress, falling foul of a SV Werder Bremen side featuring Beşiktaş's Hugo Almeida.

• Beşiktaş ended a run of four straight UEFA Europa League away defeats with a 3-2 victory at Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC on matchday five.

• Last season Beşiktaş made it through the round of 32 for the first time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage, only to lose 8-1 on aggregate to FC Dynamo Kyiv. They met again in this season's group stage, trading 1-0 home wins.

Team facts
• Beşiktaş boast a Portuguese coach – Carlos Carvalhal – and six Portuguese players: Manuel Fernandes, Simão, Ricardo Quaresma, Júlio Alves, Hugo Almeida and Bebé, who is on loan from Manchester United FC and had a short spell at Braga's local rivals Vitória SC in 2010. He and Braga midfielder Custódio were briefly team-mates at Guimaraes at the start of last season.

• Brazilian defender Sidnei played in Portugal with SL Benfica, where he was a team-mate of Braga striker Nuno Gomes from 2008 to 2011.

• Carvalhal was born in Braga, has often proclaimed himself a supporter of the club and was in charge at the Estádio Municipal in 2006/07. He started his playing career as a defender at the club and represented them in three spells.

• Fran Mérida, who was loaned to Braga in the autumn, and Beşiktaş winger Simão were team-mates at Club Atlético de Madrid last season.

• Leonardo Jardim is in charge at Braga having replaced Sporting Clube de Portugal-bound Domingos Paciência in the summer. The Venezuelan-born coach had spells at AD Camacha, GD Chaves and SC Beira-Mar before joining Braga.

• Beşiktaş's next goal will be their 200th in UEFA competition; this is their 159th game.

• Nine of Beşiktaş's 13 group stage goals came after the break, four of them within 15 minutes of the restart.

• Braga have conceded 98 goals in UEFA competition; this is their 88th match.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take S.S. Lazio or Atlético in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the second leg at home.

• Braga have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• Beşiktaş have never met Atlético but took on Lazio in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup quarter-finals (losing 1-0 in Rome, then 2-1 in Istanbul) and the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage (losing 2-0 in Istanbul then drawing 1-1 in Rome).

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:

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