PAOK are well placed to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time as they welcome Benfica for the play-off second leg with the tie finely poised at 1-1.

• Amr Wada came off the bench to cancel out Pizzi’s penalty opener for Benfica in the Lisbon first leg, giving PAOK an away goal that could prove invaluable.

• All four of PAOK’s previous UEFA Champions League campaigns have ended in the qualifying rounds. Benfica, meanwhile, have won both previous ties against their Greek opponents, and will be eager to return to the group stage having lost all six games in finishing bottom of their 2017/18 section.

Previous meetings
• Both the clubs’ previous ties have come in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, Benfica winning the first of them 4-1 on penalties after a 3-3 aggregate draw – each side having won 2-1 away – in the 1999/2000 second round.

• The teams met again in the 2013/14 round of 32, Benfica winning the first leg 1-0 in Greece and scoring three times in the final 20 minutes back in Lisbon to wrap up a 4-0 aggregate success.

• Luisão and Eduardo Salvio appeared for Benfica in both legs of the latter tie, with Jardel and Ljubomir Fejsa featuring in the first game; Panagiotis Glykos and Stelios Kitsiou played in both games for PAOK.


Highlights: Benfica 1-1 PAOK

Form guide
PAOK
• Greek Super League runners-up for the second time in three years in 2017/18, PAOK’s most recent UEFA Champions League campaign lasted only one tie – a 3-2 aggregate defeat by Ajax in the 2016/17 third qualifying round.

• Last season, PAOK beat Olimpik Donetsk in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (3-1 aggregate) but were knocked out in the play-offs on away goals by Östersund of Sweden (3-1 home, 0-2 away).

• PAOK have ousted Basel 5-1 on aggregate (2-1 home, 3-0 away) and Spartak Moskva 3-2 on aggregate (3-2 home, 0-0 away) to reach this stage.

• The Greek side have won their last four home European matches – and five of the last six.

• PAOK’s only previous UEFA Champions League play-off was a 4-3 aggregate reverse against Schalke in 2013/14 (1-1 away, 2-3 home). Their UEFA Europa League play-off record is W5 L3.

• The Salonika club have won only one of their three home games against Portuguese clubs; aside from those two Benfica defeats, they recorded a 4-1 victory against Leixões in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round second leg for a 5-3 aggregate success.

• PAOK’s record in UEFA penalty-shoot-outs is W0 L4:
1-4 v Benfica 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
3-4 v Sevilla, 1990/91 UEFA Cup first round
8-9 v Bayern München, 1983/84 UEFA Cup second round
4-5 v Eintracht Frankfurt, 1981/82 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round

Benfica
• Portuguese Liga runners-up in 2017/18, Benfica are looking to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 14th time – and the ninth season in a row.

• Benfica reached this season’s play-offs with a 2-1 aggregate win against Fenerbahçe in the third qualifying round (1-0 home, 1-1 away). The first leg ended a run of seven successive European defeats – the Eagles failing to score in the last five of those – although Benfica have won only two of their last 12 continental fixtures (D2 L8).

• The draw at Fenerbahçe ended a four-game losing away run without scoring in Europe for Benfica, who have won only one of their last nine fixtures outside Portugal (D2 L6).

• This is only Benfica’s second UEFA Champions League play-off; they won the first, against Twente in 2011/12 (2-2 away, 3-1 home).

• The 2014 first-leg win at PAOK ended a run of three successive Benfica defeats in Greece, where their record is W3 L5.

• Benfica’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L4:
2-4 v Sevilla, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League final
4-1 v PAOK, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
5-6 v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
3-5 v Vorwärts Berlin, 1970/71 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
1-4 v Torpedo Moskva, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs’ Cup first round

Links and trivia
• Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris has 32 caps for Greece.

• PAOK defender Fernando Varela was born in Portugal, but is a Cape Verde international.

• Have played in Greece:
Odisseas Vlachodimos (Panathinaikos 2016–18)
Ljubomir Fejsa (Olympiacos 2011–13)
Andreas Samaris (Panachaiki 2006–10, Panionios 2010–13, Olympiacos 2013/14)

• Vlachodimos and Giannis Mystakidis were Panathinaikos team-mates in 2017/18.

• Have played in Portugal:
Fernando Varela (Rio Maior 2006/07 loan, Estoril Praia 2007–09, Trofense 2009–11, Feirense 2011/12)
Vieirinha (Porto 2003–05 & 2006/07, Marco 2005/06 loan, Leixões 2007/08 loan)
Dimitris Pelkas (Vitória FC, 2014/15 loan)

• International team-mates:
Vieirinha & André Almeida, Pizzi, Rafa Silva (Portugal)
Panagiotis Glykos, Stelios Kitsiou, Dimitris Pelkas & Andreas Samaris (Greece)
Aleksandar Prijović & Andrija Živković (Serbia)


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PAOK are well placed to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time as they welcome Benfica for the play-off second leg with the tie finely poised at 1-1.• Amr Wada came off...