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A few facts on.... SL Benfica

Posted on 13 March 2014  - 13:18

Here’s a few relevant facts and stats ahead of tonight’s Europa League round of 16 first leg against Portuguese giants Benfica at White Hart Lane...

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Origins – SL Benfica was founded on February 28, 1904, as Sport Lisboa.

Base – Benfica play their home games at Estadio da Luz. The stadium was opened in October, 2003, having replaced the old structure of the same name.

Forthcoming event – Benfica’s Estadio da Luz is set to host the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League final.

In the dugout – Benfica’s manager is Jorge Jesus, the 59-year-old former Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder.

Familiar foe – Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen will be familiar with Benfica’s Miralem Sulejmani, having both played for Ajax at the same time as the winger.

A Real connection – Emmanuel Adebayor briefly crossed paths with Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay back in 2011. They both played for Real Madrid at that time, Ade being on loan from Manchester City.

Last time out – Benfica beat Estoril 2-0 in the Portuguese top flight on Sunday, thanks to first half goals from Luisao and Rodrigo.

Sitting pretty – Benfica are top of the table in Portugal having won 55 points from 22 games so far. They’re seven points clear of second placed Sporting Clube de Portugal.

In form – Benfica have only lost one Portuguese top flight game this season, drawing four and winning the remaining 17.

Shutout success – Benfica have kept clean sheets in their last eight matches in all competitions.

On the road – Benfica have lost just two of their last 28 away league games in Portugal. Their last away domestic reverse was in April, 2012.

Goal difference – Benfica have scored 40 league goals so far in 2013-14, conceding only 13 – that’s fewer goals conceded than any other side in their division.

Long time coming – We last faced Benfica in a competitive European match in 1962. We lost 3-1 at Benfica in the first leg of our European Cup semi-final, before winning the return 2-1. We consequently lost 4-3 on aggregate.

Home run – We are unbeaten in 11 European home games. Our last European reverse at White Hart Lane was against PAOK, the team Benfica beat in the round of 32 to set up our impending showdown, back in the 2011-12 campaign.

Same nation – We’ve won all five of our previous European games against Portuguese opposition at White Hart Lane.

Champions League beginnings – Benfica were knocked out of this season’s Champions League after finishing third in their group behind Olympiacos and Paris Saint-Germain. They were level on 10 points with Olympiacos in second spot. They consequently entered the Europa League in the round of 32.

Record-equalling – Benfica’s 3-0 home win in the second leg of their round of 32 tie against PAOK last month saw them equal Atletico Madrid’s Europa League record of 10 consecutive home wins in the competition.

Final heartbreak – Benfica lost to Chelsea in last season’s Europa League final. That was the 32nd game they’d played against English clubs in UEFA competition, of which they’ve won 10, drawn five and lost 17.