Panathinaikos FC's recent record against Italian opposition should fill them with optimism as they welcome S.S. Lazio to the Greek capital for the duo's UEFA Europa League Group J encounter.
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Panathinaikos FC will hope recent wins against Roman opponents will augur well as S.S. Lazio visit the Greek capital in UEFA Europa League Group J.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Panathinaikos's 20 games against Italian sides have ended W6 D5 L9 (W4 D3 L3 at home – W2 D2 L6 in Italy). They are on a three-game winning streak against Serie A clubs, most recently 3-2 home and away wins against Lazio's neighbours AS Roma in the 2009/10 UEFA Cup round of 32.
• Lazio's seven meetings with Greek clubs ended W3 D2 L2 (W2 D0 L1 at home – W1 D2 L1 in Greece). Those games include three trips to Athens and neighbouring Piraeus: a 4-0 win at Panionios GSS, a 2-1 defeat at Egaleo FC and most recently a 1-1 draw at Olympiacos FC.
• Panathinaikos are without a win in four European games – two home draws and two away defeats – but are unbeaten in four home games, including three this season.
• Lazio have recorded three wins and a draw in Europe this season, conceding just once in the process. Their last five continental away games comprise three draws, a 1-0 loss to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid in last season's round of 32, and a 2-0 win at NK Mura in the 2012/13 play-offs.
• Atlético, Lazio, FC Metalist Kharkiv, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Newcastle United FC are the only five sides who have yet to concede in this season's group stage.
• Panathinaikos defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and Lazio midfielder Ederson were team-mates at Olympique Lyonnais (2008–10).
• Lazio defender Lionel Scaloni and Panathinaikos midfielder Vitolo played together at Real Racing Club in 2006/07.
• Panathinaikos's coach is Jesualdo Ferreira. Once coach of Portugal's Under-21 side and assistant boss of the senior national team, the Portuguese coached SL Benfica and SC Braga before winning an unprecedented three successive Liga titles at FC Porto. He took command at Panathinaikos in October 2010.
• Lazio's coach since June has been Vladimir Petković, who won a Yugoslavian title as a midfielder with hometown club FK Sarajevo in 1984/85. He then moved to Switzerland, where he played at a modest level and coached the likes of AC Bellinzona, BSC Young Boys and FC Sion, as well as moving to Turkey to take charge of Samsunspor.
• This is FARE Action Week, with UEFA giving its support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign. There are activities before each UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums and millions on television. A 30-second RESPECT TV spot and announcements over stadium loudspeakers will encourage fans to join the UEFA family in its call to unite against racism in football. Every team will be accompanied on to the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts and captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism armband.