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Nic Ladds 13th Sep 2010 - 8:30

Champions League Opta Facts

Statistics and facts to help your football betting are available every week at William Hill courtesy of Opta Sportsdata, Europe's leading provider of sports performance statistics.

Group A:

Werder Bremen v Tottenham Hotspur


  • This is the first time that these two clubs have met in a competitive game.
  • Werder have lost three of their four competitive games against English teams, but the last time they played against one, they defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the 2006/07 Champions League group stage.
  • Bremen have qualified for the Champions League in six of the last seven seasons.
  • Tottenham have never competed in Champions League since its foundation in 1992/93.
  • Spurs were the first British team to win a European club competition when they won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.
  • If Naldo, Mertesacker and Pizarro fail to return for this match, Werder would miss almost a hundred Champions League matches worth of experience (Naldo 24, Mertesacker 16, Pizarro 57).
  • Mikael Silvestre spent nine years in the Premier League with both Manchester Utd and Arsenal and has already played Tottenham 17 times (11 wins, only three defeats). He won the 2008 Champions League with the Red Devils.
  • When the Spurs' new signing Rafael van der Vaart played for Hamburg, he scored more goals against Werder than against any other side; three, all away from home.
  • Bremen have scored four goals in each of their last three European ties played at home.


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FC Twente v Inter Milan


  • This is the first meeting between Twente and Inter Milan in a European competition.
  • Twente have never before competed in Champions League; they have been eliminated at the qualification stage in the last two years.
  • Internazionale are undefeated in seven European games against Dutch teams (five wins, two draws), and have won all of their last three matches.
  • Inter have only lost one of their last eight Champions League games (seven wins). Only Barcelona were able to defeat them last season (group stages 0-2; semi-final 0-1).
  • Diego Milito has scored Inter's last three Champions League goals, including two against Bayern Munich in the final.
  • After Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid, Rafael Benitez took charge of Inter in June 2010. Benitez won the 2005 Champions League after the Reds defeated AC Milan 6-5 on penalties in the Champions League final.
  • Wesley Sneijder assisted more goals (6) than any other player in the 2009-10 Champions League.


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Group B:

Lyon v Schalke


  • This will be the first-ever competitive match between Olympique Lyon and Schalke 04.
  • This is the eleventh consecutive season that Lyon have competed in the Champions League. The club has reached the knockout stages in each of the last seven seasons.
  • Lyon have lost each of their last three Champions League games, but have only lost one of their last seven Champions League home games (four wins, two draws) - their last game against Bayern Munich (0-3).
  • Schalke have lost all of their last three Champions League games and have won only one of their last nine fixtures in the competition (six defeats, two draws).
  • FC Schalke have only won two away games in their entire Champions League history (nine defeats, three draws).
  • Felix Magath won the 1983 European Cup with Hamburger SV and scored the winning goal in the final against Juventus.
  • Raul is the most prolific goal scorer in Champions League history, having scored 66 goals in 127 matches for Real Madrid. He has won the Champions League three times in his career (1998, 2000, 2002).


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Benfica v Hapoel Tel Aviv


  • This will be the first competitive meeting between Benfica Lisbon and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
  • Tel Aviv have never before played a competitive against a Portuguese team. Benfica have only once before been up against a team from Israel: the second round of the 1998/99 CL qualifiers had them face Beitar Jerusalem (6-0 at home, 2-4 away).
  • Both clubs competed in the Europa League last season. Hapoel were eliminated by Rubin Kazan in the last-32 (0-3 A, 0-0 H) while Benfica were eliminated by Liverpool in the quarter-finals (2-1 H, 1-4 A).
  • Hapoel have scored 13 goals in their six Champions League qualifying matches. They have, however, only scored one goal in their last four non-qualifying European games.
  • Benfica have only lost one of their last 10 European matches (seven wins, two draws).
  • Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo's 26 goals in 29 appearances last season were the most in the Liga Sagres. He was tied with Claudio Pizarro for being Europa League's most prolific striker (nine goals).
  • In the first leg of Tel Aviv's Champions League playoff at Salzburg, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama converted a penalty after three minutes (1-0; final result 3-2). He scored five league goals for Hapoel last season.


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Group C

Manchester United v Rangers


  • Manchester United have won and kept a clean sheet in both of their previous meetings with Rangers (2003/04 Champions League). The Red Devils defeated Rangers 3-0 at home and 1-0 in Glasgow.
  • Rangers have won 53 league titles in Scotland (currently the world record) while Manchester United are tied with Liverpool with 18 Premier League titles.
  • Manchester United have only lost one of their eight European matches against Scottish teams (five wins, two draws). Only Celtic have been able to defeat United; in the 2006/07 group stages (0-1).
  • Rangers haven't been able to win any of their last 10 Champions League games (three draws, seven losses). Their last victory came back in October 2007; 3-0 at Lyon.
  • The Gers have failed to score a goals in six of their previous 12 European matches against English sides - none of these 12 matches have seen them score more than two goals.
  • Manchester United have only lost one of their last 26 Champions League home games (19 wins, six draws).
  • Rangers posted the worst shooting accuracy of any team in the 2009/10 Champions League, hitting the target with just 32% of their attempts.
  • Man Utd scored a joint-competition high seven headed goals in the 2009/10 Champions League.


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Bursaspor v Valencia


  • Bursaspor won the Turkish league championship for the first time last season and will be making their debut appearance in the Champions League.
  • Valencia have only lost one of their six European matches against Turkish clubs.
  • Bursaspor's greatest continental success came back in the 1974/75 Cup Winner's Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Dynamo Kiev (0-1 at home, 0-2 away).
  • Valencia have only lost one out of their last 24 European competitive games, including playoffs (nine wins, 14 draws).
  • The last time that Valencia competed in Champions League, they were eliminated in the group stages.


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Group D

Barcelona v Panathinaikos


  • Panathinaikos have visited the Camp Nou twice and have lost both times, conceding eight goals in the process.
  • The last time that Panathinaikos clashed with Barca was in the 2005/06 group stages, where they were beaten 0-5 - their heaviest-ever CL defeat alongside 0-5 v Manchester United in 2003.
  • The best Panathinaikos have managed on Spanish soil is a draw in 12 games (at Villarreal), losing the other 11 and scoring just six goals.
  • Barcelona have won all five of their home games against Greek teams, scoring 21 and conceding only twice.
  • The last time that the Catalan side lost their opening Champions League game in a season was back in 1997/98 - 2-3 v Newcastle.
  • Last season, the Athens side were eliminated from the Champions League playoffs by Atletico Madrid (2-3 H, 0-3 A).
  • Including new arrival David Villa, seven players from Spain's starting XI in the World Cup final against the Netherlands are under contract at Barcelona.
  • Barcelona posted the best passing accuracy figures in the Champions League, completing 89% of their passes.


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FC Copenhagen v Rubin Kazan


  • This is the first time that these teams will clash in a European competitive match.
  • FC Copenhagen have never lost a European match against a Russian side (two wins, one draw).
  • Copenhagen have progressed past the qualifiers (BATE Borisov 0-0 A, 3-2 H) as well as the playoffs (Rosenborg 1-2 A, 1-0 H) on their way to competing in Champions League for the third time.
  • Rubin have won the Russian league title in the last two seasons - they are the club's first two domestic league titles.
  • Last season, Rubin were eliminated from the Champions League group stages, despite winning five of their six points in matches against Inter Milan and Barcelona.
  • In their last participation in the Champions League group stages (2006/07), FC Copenhagen were undefeated a home; defeating both Manchester United and Celtic and drawing with Benfica.


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Group E

Bayern Munich v Roma


  • This is the first time that Bayern and Roma will clash in Champions League, but Bayern eliminated Roma from the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup at the quarter final stage (2-0 H, 2-1 A).
  • This will be the 20th time that Bayern face an Italian side in the Champions League. They have won just five of their previous 19 encounters.
  • Bayern played five matches against Italian teams last season: Juventus in the group stage (0-0 H, 4-1 A), Fiorentina in the last-16 (2-1H, 2-3A) and Inter Milan in the final (0-2).
  • Bayern Munich have only lost one of their seven Champions League matches against Italian teams in the Allianz Arena (three wins, three draws). AC Milan won 2-0 at Munich on April 11, 2007 and went on to win the trophy.
  • Roma have never been held to a draw in a European match played in Germany (five wins, nine defeats).
  • The Italian giants have only won two of their last 11 matches in Germany (nine losses).
  • FC Bayern scored the most goals in the Champions League last season (21), alongside Manchester United and Arsenal.
  • Only Lionel Messi scored more Champions League goals last season (eight) than Ivica Olic (seven, like Cristiano Ronaldo).
  • Arjen Robben was Bayern's most prolific striker last season, having scored 23 goals in 37 competitive matches.


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CFR Cluj v Basel


  • This is the first competitive meeting between Cluj and Basel and neither side have played a team from their opposition's country before.
  • Basel qualified with victories over VSC Debrecen (2-0, 3-1) and Sheriff Tiraspol (1-0, 3-0) while Cluj were directly seeded as Romanian champions.
  • Basel won the Swiss championship in both 2008 and 2010, and were also able to win the Swiss Cup in the same seasons.
  • Cluj have won the Romanian championship in 2008 and 2010, and were also able to win the Romanian Cup in the last three consecutive years (2008 through 2010).
  • On the last occasion that CFR Cluj played in the Champions League (2008/09), the Romanian side had the best tackle success rate in the competition - 83%.
  • Basel were last in the Champions League group stages in 2008/09, where they won just one point, scored only two goals and conceded 16.
  • In 2008/09, Basel converted just 3.9% of their chances; the lowest rate in the competition.


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Group F

Marseille v Spartak Moscow


  • Marseille have won three out of four European matches against Spartak Moscow.
  • Spartak's greatest international success was reaching the 1990/91 European Cup semi-final - from where they were eliminated by Olympique Marseille.
  • Marseille were the first team to win the Champions League when it was founded in 1992/93 (1-0 v. AC Milan).
  • Last season, Marseille won their first championship since 1992. Their first championship in 18 years was the ninth in the club's history (not including their revoked league title in 1993).
  • Spartak have only won two out of their previous 19 European matches against French sides (13 defeats, four draws).
  • Olympique Marseille have won four out of five home games against Russian sides (one defeat).
  • Marseille manager Didier Deschamps has won the Champions League twice as a player, in 1993 at OM and in 1996 at Juventus. He lost the 2004 Champions League final, where he managed Monaco, to FC Porto.


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Zilina v Chelsea


  • These clubs have already met in the Champions League; in the third qualifying round of 2003/04, when Chelsea won 2-0 and 3-0.
  • Chelsea have won all four of their matches against Slovakian sides with a cumulative score of 9-0.
  • This will be Chelsea's eighth successive season in the Champions League.
  • Last season, Chelsea were eliminated from the last-16 by Inter Milan (1-2, 0-1) who later went on to win the trophy. Inter were managed by former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.
  • Zilina have won seven Slovakian championships, five of them in this century (1928, 1929, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010).
  • Three men at Chelsea have previously won the Champions League: Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira (2004 at Porto) as well as manager Carlo Ancelotti (2003 and 2007 at AC Milan).
  • Zilina's home games are played in the Champions League's smallest venue: Zilina's "Pod Dubnom" stadium only has a maximum capacity of 11,181 seats.


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Group G

AC Milan v Auxerre


  • These teams met in the first round of the UEFA Cup 25 years ago. It was only Auxerre's third European match, they won at home 3-1 before Milan won their own home game 3-0 and eliminated Auxerre.
  • Milan have won the Champions League three times (1994, 2003, 2007) and have competed in a total of 139 matches, Auxerre have only played in 14.
  • 1996/97 was the first time that Auxerre competed in the Champions League, and it was their best ever European season. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual winners Borussia Dortmund.
  • Milan haven't won any of their last five home games in the Champions League - most recently losing their round of 16 game against Manchester United (2-3) last season.
  • Auxerre have won three out of seven away games (four defeats) in the Champions League - in Glasgow (Rangers), Amsterdam (Ajax) and London (Arsenal).
  • The last time that Milan were eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages was in 1999/00, when they were behind Hertha BSC and Chelsea.
  • Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri was voted ‘Manager Of The Year‘ in 2009 and 2010 in Italy. Allegri made his first professional league appearance in June 1989, playing against AC Milan.
  • Milan's Clarence Seedorf is the only player other than Samuel Eto'o that has won the Champions League with three different teams (Ajax 1995, Real Madrid 1998, Milan 2003 and 2007).
  • Ronaldinho‘s first ever competitive appearance in European football was in August 2001 for PSG against Auxerre (Ligue 1), the game ended 1-1.


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Real Madrid v Ajax


  • These sides have met six times in the Champions League/European Cup with Ajax winning the last four. Real's only victory over Amsterdam was in October 1967 (43 years ago).
  • In their 15 seasons in the Champions League, Real have never been eliminated in the group stage - but they have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of the last six seasons.
  • This is the first time since 2005/06 that Ajax have qualified for the Champions League, despite winning only one of their four qualifiers (three draws).
  • In Real Madrid, AC Milan and Ajax there are three former Champions League/European Cup winners in Group C. Between them they have won 20 out of 55 Champions League/European Cups.
  • This game has echoes of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Five players from Spain play for Real (Casillas, Arbeloa, Raul Albiol, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso) while four Dutch players represent Ajax (Stekelenburg, van der Wiel, de Zeeuw and Ooijer).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the joint-second top scorer in the Champions League last season with seven goals may miss this game due to injury. Ronaldo only missed one Champions League game last season, a home game against AC Milan that Real lost 2-3.
  • Luis Suarez scored in three of Ajax' four Champions League qualifiers this season. His new strike partner Mounir El Hamdaoui was the top goalscorer in the Eredivisie in 2008/09.
  • Ajax will be the first club that Martin Jol has managed in the Champions League. Real are the fourth club that Jose Mourinho has managed in the competition - after Porto, Chelsea and Inter.
  • Real Madrid conceded three penalties in last season's Champions League, more than any other team (two of them after fouls by Iker Casillas).


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Group H:

Arsenal v Braga


  • This is the first time that these clubs have met in a European match.
  • Braga have only won one out of eight matches against English clubs (six defeats, one draw). Braga defeated Portsmouth 3-0 in 2008/09.
  • Braga, runners-up in the Portuguese league last season, have qualified for the Champions League for the first time while the Gunners have appeared in the last 13 consecutive editions of the competition.
  • Braga's greatest European success to date was reaching the UEFA Cup round of 16 in 2006/07 and 2008/09.
  • Arsenal have only lost one of their last 30 Champions League home games (20 wins, nine draws).
  • Nicklas Bendtner has scored four goals in his last three Champions League appearances.
  • Lima and Matheus scored six of their team's nine goals in the qualifiers for the group stages, with the former scoring a hat-trick against Sevilla away.
  • Eduardo, who kept goal for Portugal in all four of their matches at the World Cup in South Africa this summer, has left Sporting Braga for Genoa.
  • The Gunners recorded the best shooting accuracy of any team in the 2009-10 Champions League, finding the target with 58% of their shots.


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Shakhtar Donetsk v Partizan Belgrade


  • These two clubs met in last year's Europa League group stage. Shaktar won at home 4-1 and progressed to the next round with 13 points. Partizan won the return match but were eliminated with only three points.
  • Donetsk's greatest success in Europe so far was winning the 2009 UEFA Cup after defeating Werder Bremen 2-1 (AET) in the final.
  • Partizan competed in the 1977 European Champions' Cup final and were up 1-0 against Real Madrid but eventually lost 1-2.
  • Donetsk have won the Ukrainian championship five times in the last nine years (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010) and qualified automatically for the group stage.
  • Belgrade have won the Serbian championship in the last three seasons but still had to go through three qualification rounds. The beat Pjunik Erevan, HJK Helsiniki and RSC Anderlecht (after penalties).
  • Partizan's Brazilian attacker Cleo scored in each of his club's six qualifiers, netting a total of eight goals.


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