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Paços eager to put the brakes on Fiorentina

FC Paços de Ferreira's final UEFA Europa League Group G home game pits the Portuguese side against section leaders ACF Fiorentina, looking for a fifth straight European win.

Ryder Matos celebrates scoring his first goal for Fiorentina on his debut
Ryder Matos celebrates scoring his first goal for Fiorentina on his debut ©Getty Images

FC Paços de Ferreira can no longer make it to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 but will look to rise to the occasion when section leaders ACF Fiorentina come to Portugal in Group E.

• Fiorentina and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk are already confirmed as the top two sides in the section, but getting top spot in the group could be a major fillip, since the seeded sides in the draw get to play the second legs of their round of 32 ties at home.

Previous meetings
• Fiorentina made light work of Paços when the sides met for the first time on matchday one, winning 3-0 in Tuscany. Brazilian forward Ryder Matos notably scored their second goal (67) within a minute of making his debut for the club as a substitute. It was Paços's first competitive encounter with Italian opposition.

• Fiorentina's record in nine encounters with Portuguese sides reads W3 D3 L3 (W2 D2 L1 at home, W1 D1 L2 in Portugal). They are unbeaten in their last two games in Portugal (W1 D1) and have yet to lose to Portuguese opponents in three games since the turn of the millennium (W1 D2).

Match background
• This is only Paços's third season in European football, and already their longest continental campaign by some distance: the match against Fiorentina is their seventh UEFA Europa League game this term, while their previous longest campaign lasted four fixtures.

• Paços's 4-2 loss to FC Zenit in their UEFA Champions League play-off second leg remains the only occasion on which they have scored more than once in a European match; they have scored just five goals in 12 UEFA club competition games to date.

• Fiorentina, Tottenham Hotspur FC and FC Salzburg are the only sides with 100% records in this season's group stage. Only three clubs have ever won all six of their group stage matches, the first of these being Salzburg in the competition’s inaugural 2009/10 season. Their feat was subsequently matched by Zenit (2010/11) and RSC Anderlecht (2011/12).

• This is Fiorentina's first appearance in this group stage since they reached the semi-finals of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, though they subsequently appeared in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2008/09 and 2009/10.

Team facts
• Only three of the eight teams who qualified on matchday four have not participated in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 previously – competition debutants Esbjerg fB, Fiorentina and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.

• Fiorentina's Chilean midfielder Matías Fernández could make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance at Paços. The former Villarreal CF and Sporting Clube de Portugal man celebrates his 28th birthday on 15 May, the day after this season's UEFA Champions League final in Turin.

• Currently struggling with a knee injury, Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez has scored only once in four games against Portuguese sides – a group stage winner for Germany at UEFA EURO 2012 – but has been on the winning side in all four games: a 1-0 Under-21 win, victories at UEFA EURO 2008 (3-2) and UEFA EURO 2012 (1-0) with Germany and a 3-0 win against SL Benfica with VfB Stuttgart in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup.

Coach information
• Sérgio Gaminho had been listed as Paços coach for their European games, but Costinha was picking the team, until former FC Porto midfielder Costinha resigned on 28 October after a 3-1 home defeat by fellow UEFA Europa League contenders Vitória SC left his side bottom of the Portuguese Liga.

• Henrique Calisto has since come in for his fourth spell as Paços coach, having previously been in charge from 1996–97, 1998–2000 and 2011–12. Once a right-back, he moved into coaching in his 20s, initially at Boavista FC in 1980, and has since coached a host of Portuguese clubs. From 2001–11, he was in Asia, coaching clubs in Vietnam and Thailand, as well as the Vietnamese national team.

• Fiorentina coach since June 2012, Vincenzo Montella is still best remembered as a striker for AS Roma, where he was known as L'Aeroplanino (The Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebration. He won the 2000/01 Serie A title and two Italian Cups with Roma before moving on to coach their youth team. After coaching Roma and Calcio Catania, he led Fiorentina to a fourth-placed finish in his first season in charge.