Turkish football fans have been waiting for a second UEFA title ever since Galatasaray won the country's only continental prize back in 2000. It is still the only European trophy won by a Turkish football team but today Fenerbahçe will be hopeful of reaching the quarter-finals when they take the field against Portuguese rivals Braga in the Estadio Municipal de Braga. The Portuguese side are a goal down as they go into the home leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against Fenerbahçe - a significant margin given their guests' fine away record. Mehmet Topal's late goal secured a 1-0 win for Fenerbahçe in the sides' first UEFA meeting. It was Braga's first defeat in four trips to Turkey. Braga's record in seven UEFA games against Turkish clubs is W4 D0 L3 (W1 D0 L2 at home - W3 D0 L1 in Turkey). They have lost their two most recent home meetings with Turkish sides.Fenerbahçe's record in nine matches against Portuguese teams is W5 D0 L4 (W4 D0 L1 at home - W1 D0 L3 in Portugal). They have lost both of their two games in Portugal this century by 3-1 margins.
Braga are unbeaten at home in Europe this season (W3 D1), but only once in 14 UEFA home matches since they reached the 2011 UEFA Europa League final have they won by a margin of more than one goal - beating NK Maribor 5-1 in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.Fenerbahçe's away record this season suggests they should hang on for an aggregate victory; they are unbeaten in five UEFA Europa League games on the road (W2 D3).
Here are some interesting facts about the match:
- Fenerbahçe went all the way to the semi-finals when they last contested the round of 16 in 2012/13. That was their best ever campaign in this competition.
- The journey from Istanbul to Braga is around 3,100km, making Fenerbahçe's the longest trip of matchday 10 by some distance.
- Fenerbahçe midfielder Raul Meireles turns 33 the day of the second leg. Three Portuguese players represent Fenerbahçe: Meireles, Nani and Bruno Alves. Both the clubs' coaches - and a good number of their players - have been at FC Porto: Braga's Alan (2005-08), Andre Pinto (2008-12), Josue (2013-14) and Fenerbahçe's Meireles (2004-10), Diego (2004-06), Souza (2010-12), Alves (2001-10), while Fabiano (2012-) and Abdoulaye Ba (2010-) are both on loan to the Yellow Canaries from the Portuguese outfit.
- Braga boss Paulo Fonseca replaced Vítor Pereira as Porto coach in the summer of 2013. He coached Fenerbahçe's Fabiano and Ba during his time in the Porto dug-out, from 2013-14.
- Fenerbahçe coach Pereira led Porto from 2011-13, with Fenerbahçe's Andre Pinto one of his players at the Estadio do Dragao.
Fenerbahçe boss since June, Portuguese technician Pereira was Andre Villas-Boas's assistant when Porto claimed the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. The 47-year-old later landed two league titles as the Dragons' coach and a domestic double in Greece with Olympiacos FC in 2014/15. He hails from Espinho, which is about an hour's drive south of Braga.
- Braga won their only previous UEFA penalty shoot-out:
W 5-4 A v Udinese Calcio (2012/13 UEFA Champions League play-offs)
- Fenerbahçe won their only previous UEFA penalty shoot-out:
W 3-2 A v Sevilla FC (2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16)
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