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26.11.2008 10:15

Sporting Clube v Barça: Did you know?


Barça meet Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday night in the fifth round of games in the Champions League group stage. There is a lot at stake and the following is a selection of trivia associated to the crunch encounter.

- This evening’s game could decide first place in Group C. If Guardiola’s side win, they are assured the top spot. A draw would still leave them a point ahead of the Portuguese outfit, while a win for Paulo Bento and his side would give Sporting a two-point lead.

- Whatever happens, both these sides are already guaranteed a place in the knockout stages. For Sporting Clube it will be the first time they have made it so far in the Champions League in its current format.

- In the game played at the Camp Nou, Barça won 3-1 , the goals coming from Márquez, Eto'o and Xavi. Tonel scored for the visitors.

- Sporting Clube haven’t let in any goals in Europe since. They won 2-0 against Basel and have won 1-0 home and away against Shakhtar Donetsk.

- But that 2-0 win over Basel was the last time Sporting scored more than once in the same game, and that’s after nine games in different competitions.

- Barça have played nine official matches in Portugal. They won two, drew three and lost four, their last visit being for a 0-0 draw with Benfica in the season they won the trophy for the second time.

- Neither team has any players out through suspension, and neither are any players one yellow card away from missing the next game.

QM3D3504.jpg- But there are players missing through injury. Tonel, Pedro Silva, Abel and former Barça man Rochemback for the home side; and Abidal, Milito and Iniesta for the visitors.

- No fewer than 14 of the players on show tonight were involved in international matches last week – six from Sporting (Vukcevic, Stojkovic, Moutinho, Patricio, Carriço and Pereirinha) and eight from Barça (Puyol, Xavi, Busquets, Hleb, Henry, Cáceres, Alves and Márquez).

- If Thierry Henry gets to play, it will be his 100th Champions League appearance including games for both Arsenal and Barça, but not counting qualifying matches. He would be only the eleventh player to reach that number.

- The French striker, along with Valdés, Puyol and Xavi, are the only players not to have missed a Champions League game this season, but Puyol will miss tonight’s game as he has not been named in the squad.

- FC Barcelona lead several statistical categories in the Champions league: they have scored the most goals (11), shot most times (36) and also have one of the joint top goalscorers in Leo Messi, who is on four goals along with Gerrard, Del Piero and Berbatov.
Sporting Clube v Barça: Did you know?

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