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Tottenham take Benfica to task

Tottenham Hotspur FC are playing host to SL Benfica for the first time since 1962 in the round of 16, hoping to extend their 100% home record against Portuguese sides.

Roberto Soldado celebrates a goal for Tottenham
Roberto Soldado celebrates a goal for Tottenham ©Getty Images

The UEFA Europa League round of 16 brings Tottenham Hotspur FC and SL Benfica together again, with the visitors hoping to once more forge on towards a final at their hosts' expense.

Previous meetings
• Béla Guttman's Benfica got the better of Bill Nicholson's Tottenham in the semi-finals of the 1961/62 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final on the way to beating Real Madrid CF 5-3 in the final. Benfica won 3-1 at home and took the lead in the return fixture, going through despite losing 2-1 on the night.

• The teams at White Hart Lane on 5 April 1962 were:
Brown, Baker, Henry, Norman, Blanchflower, Greaves, Mackay, Jones, Medwin, Smith, White.
Benfica: Costa Pereira, Mário João. Ângelo Martins, Cavém, Fernando Cruz, Germano, José Augusto, Águas, Coluna, Eusébio, António Simões.

Match background
• Tottenham have played ten games against Portuguese sides in UEFA competition, with the record W7 D1 L2 (W5 D0 L0 at home).

• Benfica have played 32 games against English clubs in UEFA competition, most recently last season's UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam, which they lost 2-1 to Chelsea FC. Their record in those games is W10 D5 L17. In England it is W3 D2 L10, excluding the 1968 European Cup final, which they lost 4-1 to Manchester United FC on neutral territory at Wembley.

• Spurs are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W9 D2) since a 2-1 loss to PAOK FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Spurs beat FC Internazionale Milano on away goals at this stage of last season's UEFA Europa League to reach the quarter-finals, where they lost out to FC Basel 1893 on penalties.

• After entering the round of 32 from the UEFA Champions League group stage, Benfica are aiming to reach the final for the second successive season.

Team facts
• Benfica's Miralem Sulejmani played with Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen (2008-12) and midfielder Christian Eriksen (2010-13) at AFC Ajax.

• Spurs' Emmanuel Adebayor and Benfica's Ezequiel Garay were briefly team-mates at Real Madrid in the spring of 2011, when Adebayor was on loan from Manchester City FC.

• Benfica's Eduardo Salvio rejoined Ola Toivonen on top of the UEFA Europa League's all-time appearance list, making his 36th outing of the competition in the 3-0 win against PAOK. It was also his 50th UEFA club competition appearance.

• Spurs' Aaron Lennon and Hugo Lloris also made their 50th UEFA club competition appearances in the round of 32 second leg. Benfica forward Lima will reach the same landmark when he next features.

• Tottenham (1972, 1984) are one of six previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners left in the competition along with Sevilla (2006, 2007), Valencia CF (2004), SSC Napoli (1989), FC Porto (2003, 2011) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

• FC Salzburg and Tottenham were the highest scorers in the group stage with 15 goals apiece. Spurs, PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and Real Betis Balompié boasted the meanest defences in the group stage, each conceding just two goals.

• Tottenham and Salzburg were the only clubs that came through the group stage with 100% records. Only three other sides have won all six of their group matches since the advent of the UEFA Europa League: Salzburg (2009/10), FC Zenit (2010/11) and RSC Anderlecht (2011/12).

• Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel became the UEFA Europa League's oldest participant with his appearance against FC Sheriff on matchday four. He displaced another keeper, FC Twente's Sander Boschker, as he took to the field aged 42 years and 173 days – 140 days older than Boschker. He was 42 years and 278 days old when he faced Dnipro in the first leg of the round of 32.

• Benfica matched a UEFA Europa League landmark when they recorded their tenth successive home win, the 3-0 victory against PAOK enabling them to equal Club Atlético de Madrid's record and prolong a sequence that began back on 1 April 2010. The result also brought an end to PAOK's record run of nine away matches without defeat.

Coach information
• Tottenham dismissed manager André Villas-Boas after the end of the group stage. The club's former midfielder Tim Sherwood stepped up to take temporary charge, later accepting an 18-month contract to lead the north London side until 2015. A Premier League winner with Blackburn in 1994/95, the three-times capped England midfielder had been on Spurs' coaching staff since 2008.

• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus followed in his father Jesus Virgolino's footsteps by signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal as a youngster and was a journeyman midfielder before moving into coaching. He took charge of a number of Portuguese clubs and was given the Benfica job in June 2009 after leading SC Braga to the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. He guided the Eagles to the title in his first campaign and to the final of last season's UEFA Europa League.

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