A number of former team-mates will be on opposite sides as Tottenham Hotspur FC take on ACF Fiorentina in a tough-looking UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.
• The teams are pitted together for the first time in UEFA competition. They did meet in two pre-season friendlies, Spurs prevailing 3-0 in 2001 and 3-2 in 2010, both games taking place in London.
• Tottenham are unbeaten in five home matches against Italian sides in UEFA competition (W3 D2), and have not conceded in their last three home games against Serie A opposition.
• Fiorentina‘s only previous two-legged knockout tie against English opponents was decided on penalties – the Viola squeezing past Everton FC on Merseyside in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16 in a shoot-out after the clubs had traded 2-0 home wins.
• Spurs are undefeated in four European home matches this term (W3 D1). They have won their last two round of 32 ties since bowing out to FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the same stage of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.
• Fiorentina are unbeaten in nine European away games (W7 D2); they have not lost in 12 on the road in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League (W8 D4), with that last reverse coming in the match at Everton mentioned above.
Trivia and links
• Erik Lamela is the sole Tottenham player with Serie A experience, having played for AS Roma from 2011–13; Fiorentina‘s David Pizarro was a team-mate in his first season in Rome.
• Fiorentina‘s Mounir El-Hamdaoui was on the books at White Hart Lane from 2005–06 but never played a competitive game.
• Fiorentina feature English talent in the shape of Micah Richards, who is on loan from Manchester City FC; Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor and Viola defender Stefan Savić are both former City team-mates of Richards.
• Fiorentina‘s Mohamed Salah (Chelsea FC), Alberto Aquilani (Liverpool FC), Borja Valero (West Bromwich Albion FC), Giuseppe Rossi (Manchester United FC, Newcastle United FC) and Marcos Alonso (Bolton Wanderers FC, Sunderland AFC) all have Premier League experience.
• Spurs (1972 and 1984) are among 11 former UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32.
• Ex-Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Tottenham last summer after a successful first 18 months in England with Southampton FC. A Copa del Rey winner during both his spells at RCD Espanyol, he also played for Paris Saint-Germain and FC Girondins de Bordeaux but returned to the Barcelona club for his first coaching role in 2009.
• Fiorentina boss since June 2012, Vincenzo Montella was known as ‘L’Aeroplanino’ (the Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebrations during his time as a striker. An Italian international, he won Serie A and two Coppa Italias with Roma, whom he later coached along with Calcio Catania.
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