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BRAGA FACTS

Posted on 8 March 2007  - 12:00

A few facts and notes of interest before tonight's UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg against SC Braga at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.

A few facts and notes of interest before tonight's UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg against SC Braga at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.

We met Braga in the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1984-85. We won 3-0 in Portugal before a 6-0 win at the Lane with Garth Crooks bagging a hat-trick.

Braga reached the knockout stage of this season's competition by finishing third in Group C. They then had 1-0 wins in both legs against Italian side Parma to secure a place in the last 16.

In the group stages, they recovered from a 3-0 defeat against AZ Alkmaar in the first game to beat Grasshoppers and Liberec at home. They lost 2-0 at Seville.

Braga coach Jorge Costa spent much of the 2001-02 season on loan at Charlton.

Before the 1984-85 clash against us, Braga had played one English club - West Brom - in European competition. That was in 1978-79 and they lost 3-0 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup.

Including those Braga games in 1984-85, we've played three knockout ties against Portuguese opposition and won all with a record of played six, won four, drawn one, lost one.

Dimitar Berbatov can become the first Spurs player to score in five successive European games if he scores against Braga tonight. He has already played at the Estadio Municipal de Braga, for Bulgara, in a Euro 2004 defeat against Denmark.

Braga are currently fourth in Portugal's SuperLiga but nine points adrift of Sporting Lisbon in third.

Braga have beaten two of Portugal's top three at the Estadio Municipal de Braga this season - they toppled Porto 2-1 in October and Benfica 3-1 in November. Our January arrival from Benfica, Ricardo Rocha - ineligible tonight - scored Benfica's goal in that game.

Joao Pinto, arguably Braga's best-known current player, is third on the list of players still in action in terms of appearances in the UEFA Cup with 39. He's behind Rangers' Stefan Klos (48) and Bonaventure Kalou of PSG (41).

The furthest Braga have progressed in the UEFA Cup was in 1997-98 when they reached the third round.

Braga are in their third-successive UEFA Cup campaign but this season marks the first time they've reached the group stages and beyond.

Our 6-0 win against Braga in 1984-85 remains their biggest defeat in the UEFA Cup.




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