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Sporting look to finish Legia off

Sporting Clube de Portugal twice struck back to hold Legia Warszawa to a 2-2 draw in Poland and can book a tie against FC Porto or Manchester City FC as the sides reconvene in Portugal.

Jakub Rzeźniczak (left) beats Sporting's Matías Fernández to the ball in the first leg
Jakub Rzeźniczak (left) beats Sporting's Matías Fernández to the ball in the first leg ©Getty Images

Sporting Clube de Portugal will look to see off Legia Warszawa at home following a 2-2 draw in Poland and book a tie against Liga rivals FC Porto or Manchester City FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

• Jakub Wawrzyniak (37) put the hosts ahead in Warsaw, but Daniel Carriço came off the bench to head Sporting level (60). Janusz Gol's first goal of the competition restored Legia's lead, only for André Santos to produce a wonderful curling effort (88) to ensure Ricardo Sá Pinto avoided defeat in his first game in charge of Sporting.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition having never met sides from their opponents' nation before.

• Polish clubs' 19 previous UEFA games against Portuguese teams have ended W3 D6 L10 (W0 D1 L8 in Portugal).

• Sides from the two nations met in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32; KKS Lech Poznań beat SC Braga 1-0 at home but lost 2-0 in Portugal.

Match background
• Sporting are unbeaten in eight European home games − seven wins and a draw − since a 2-0 loss to Brøndby IF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• The Lisbon outfit are competing in the round of 32 for the fifth time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05, when they lost 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva in the final. They have only once failed to reach the round of 16, bowing out to Rangers FC on away goals last season.

• Legia have won three of their five European away games this season, losing the other two.

• Legia made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage at the first attempt this season; they have not played in the spring phase of a European competition since reaching the quarter-finals of the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League, where they drew 0-0 at home with Panathinaikos FC but lost the return 3-0.

Team facts
• Legia are at their most dangerous after the break; eight of their nine goals since the start of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage have come after the interval.

• Sporting's Xandão turns 24 on the day of the game.

• Portugal and Poland will meet in a friendly on 29 February to mark the official opening of the Warsaw National Stadium, one of the host venues for UEFA EURO 2012.

• Legia defender Michał Żewłakow and Sporting's Stijn Schaars were on opposite sides in two 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage matches; Żewłakow's Olympiacos FC beat Schaars' AZ Alkmaar 1-0 at home and drew the return fixture 0-0.

• Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored three times in the Netherlands' 4-0 win against Poland in an October 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier, with Legia's Maciej Rybus on the losing side.

• Sporting's only previous Polish player was striker Andrzej Juskowiak, who represented the Lisbon side from 1992 to 1995.

• Only one player has been transferred between the clubs; Brazilian defender Edson spent the first half of 2005/06 with Sporting before joining Legia in the winter, helping them to win the title.

• Domingos Paciência was dismissed as Sporting coach in the run-up to the first leg, having led SC Braga to last season's UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin.

• Youth coach Ricardo Sá Pinto, 39, has been named Sporting boss until the end of the season. The former Portugal forward had two spells with Sporting, from 1994-97 and 2000-06 and played abroad with Real Sociedad de Futbol and R. Standard de Liège.

• Legia's Maciej Skorża took his first steps in management as a youth coach with the Warsaw club after a brief playing career as a defender. Skorża established his reputation with Amica Wronki, Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski and Wisła Kraków, where he won two Polish league titles.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on either Sporting's Liga rivals Porto or Manchester City in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Neither side have met either of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

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