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Leverkusen and Benfica renew acquaintances

Wednesday 9 January 2013 11.26 CET
Leverkusen sported a very mean defence during the group stage, but also struck nine goals

Bayer 04 Leverkusen will look to settle a 19-year-old grievance as they take on SL Benfica for a second time in European competition.

Previous meetings
• The sides met in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, Toni's Benfica ousting Dragoslav Stepanović's Leverkusen on away goals after a 1-1 draw in Lisbon and a 4-4 in Germany.

• The teams for that 1-1 draw in Lisbon on 1 March 1994 were:
Benfica: Neno, Abel Xavier, Carlos Mozer, Hélder Cristóvão (Isaías 65), António Veloso, William, Vítor Paneira, João Pinto, Yuran, Rui Costa, Aílton Delfino (César Brito 72).
Leverkusen: Vollborn, Happe, Melzig, Wörns, Foda, Lupescu, Paulo Sérgio, Becker (Fischer 78), Tolkmitt, Hapal, Thom (Rydlewicz 87).

• The teams for the 4-4 draw in Leverkusen on 15 March 1994 were:
Leverkusen: Heinen, Becker (Fischer 65), Happe, Wörns, Foda, Lupescu, Tolkmitt (Paulo Sérgio 65), Schuster, Kirsten, Hapal, Thom.
Benfica: Neno, Abel Xavier, William, Hélder Cristóvão, Schwarz, Kulkov, Vítor Paneira, João Pinto, Yuran (Rui Águas 89), Rui Costa (Hernâni 86), Isaías.

• Leverkusen's record in ten games against Portuguese sides reads W4 D3 L3 (W3 D1 L1 at home – W1 D2 L2 in Portugal).

• Benfica's 36 games against German clubs have ended W10 D12 L14 (W9 D6 L2 in Lisbon – W1 D6 L12 in Germany). Their first win in 19 games on German soil came on their last visit, when they beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0 at this stage two seasons ago.

Match background
• Leverkusen have yet to lose or concede a goal at home in Europe this season, recording two wins and a 0-0 draw at the BayArena during the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Benfica have not won in six European away games (D3 L3) since a 2-0 win at FC Basel 1893 in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Leverkusen qualified by finishing second in Group K. They have reached the round of 32 on three previous occasions since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05, and have yet to be denied passage to the last 16. Their most recent attempt was in 2010/11, where they made light work of FC Metalist Kharkiv before being eliminated by Villarreal CF in the round of 16.

• Leverkusen famously won the UEFA Cup in 1987/88, overturning a 3-0 first-leg deficit before beating RCD Espanyol 3-2 on penalties.

• Benfica have never won this competition, but reached the final in 1982/83, losing out 2-1 on aggregate to RSC Anderlecht.

• Benfica came third in UEFA Champions League Group G in the autumn. They are appearing in the round of 32 for the sixth time since the introduction of the UEFA Cup group stage,  having made it through to the round of 16 in all but their first attempt. Most recently, they battled through all the way to the semi-finals in 2010/11, bowing out to coach Jorge Jesus's old side, SC Braga.

Team facts
• Of the sides in the round of 32, S.S. Lazio and Leverkusen have the best defensive records, with just two goals conceded this season.

• Leverkusen right-back Daniel Carvajal and Benfica forward Rodrigo played together in the youth team at Real Madrid CF.

• Team manager Sami Hyypiä leads Leverkusen in collaboration with coach Sascha Lewandowski. Former Finland defender Hyypiä won the 2001 UEFA Cup and the 2005 UEFA Champions League during a ten-year spell at Liverpool FC, moving on to Leverkusen in 2009. After retiring in 2011, Hyypiä took up coaching roles with Leverkusen and Finland and stepped in – initially on a caretaker basis – after the Werkself sacked Robin Dutt last April.

• Hyypiä featured in the Liverpool side that lost to Benfica in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16, playing all 90 minutes of the 1-0 defeat in Lisbon, and watching from the bench as his side lost the return fixture 2-0 at Anfield.

• Jorge Jesus started his career as a midfielder at Sporting Clube de Portugal, and played for a number of smaller sides, hanging up his boots in 1989. He gradually worked his way up the leagues as a coach in Portugal, with successful spells at CF Os Belenenses and SC Braga – who he led to the 2008/09 UEFA Europa League round of 16 – heralding a move to Benfica. In 2009/10, he won the Portuguese title in his first season with the Eagles.

Round of 16: Leverkusen/Benfica v FC Dynamo Kyiv/FC Girondins de Bordeaux
• The first legs will be played on 7 March, with the returns the following Thursday.

• Benfica have met both of their potential opponents.

• They played Dynamo in the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup group stage, losing 1-0 in Ukraine but winning 5-0 in Lisbon.

• The Eagles took on Bordeaux in the second round of the 1986/87 European Cup Winners' Cup, losing the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

• Leverkusen have met Dynamo in four previous UEFA Champions League group stage games. They have twice lost 4-2 in Kyiv, but fared better in Germany, drawing 1-1 in 1999/2000 and winning 3-0 in 2004/05.

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