Unbeaten in their last ten home games against Italian sides, Galatasaray face a not inconsiderable task as they look to eliminate Lazio from the UEFA Europa League.
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Galatasaray AŞ are unbeaten at home against Italian opponents since January 1963 – when AC Milan triumphed 3-1 in Istanbul – as they welcome SS Lazio in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 opener.
• In the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League group stage, Mircea Lucescu's Galatasaray overcame Dino Zoff's Lazio 1-0 at home, but lost by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture to a Biancocelesti side coached by Alberto Zaccheroni.
• Galatasaray's record in 22 games against Italian clubs is W7 D8 L7 (W7 D3 L1 at home – W0 D5 L6 in Italy). They are undefeated in their last ten home fixtures against Serie A visitors (W7 D3) since that Milan victory in the European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals.
• Lazio's 12 matches against Turkish sides have ended W6 D4 L2 (W3 D3 L0 at home – W3 D1 L2 in Turkey).
• Galatasaray have won only one of their last seven European home games (W1 D3 L3). Looking ahead to the return leg, they have not prevailed in 11 European away trips (D2 L9) since a 3-2 success at FC Schalke 04 in March 2013.
• Lazio made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage unbeaten (W4 D2) after losing to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
• Galatasaray last played in the round of 32 in 2009/10, losing to Club Atlético de Madrid. Their best performance in this competition since beating Arsenal FC on penalties in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final was getting to the round of 16 in 2008/09.
• Lazio last reached the round of 32 in 2013/14, when they were eliminated by PFC Ludogorets Razgrad. In their most successful campaign in this competition, they went down 3-0 against FC Internazionale Milano in the 1998 UEFA Cup final.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Rome to Istanbul is just short of 1,400km.
• Galatasaray are one of five sides in the round of 32 who qualified for Europe this season as domestic champions. The others are: FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), Molde FK (Norway) and Olympiacos FC (Greece), although Molde have since lost their title to Rosenborg BK.
• Lazio were caught offside 29 times during the group stage – more than any other side.
• Galatasaray's Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera joined the club from Lazio in summer 2011, having won the Coppa Italia in 2008/09 and made 96 Serie A appearances.
• Galatasaray's Hamit Altıntop (2007–11) and Lukas Podolski (2006–09) played at FC Bayern München alongside Lazio's Edson Braafheid (2009–11) and Miroslav Klose (2007–11).
• Podolski and Galatasaray team-mate Wesley Sneijder have also played in Italy with FC Internazionale Milano.
• Lazio striker Filip Djordjević and Galatasaray defender Lionel Carole spent the 2010/11 season together at French side FC Nantes.
• Mustafa Denizli took charge of Galatasaray for a third time in November, replacing Hamza Hamzaoğlu. A forward for Altay GK and Galatasaray, he has won league titles with all three of the big Istanbul clubs (Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe SK and Beşiktaş JK) and led Turkey from 1996 to 2000.
• A central defender, with Juventus and ACF Fiorentina among others, Stefano Pioli was appointed by Lazio in June 2014. He has been a coach in Italy's top two divisions since 2003, his clubs including home-town side Parma FC, AC Chievo Verona and most recently Bologna FC.