Amazingly, in six previous Champions League group stage campaigns, the Hoops have never managed to win their opening tie.
Even when Gordon Strachan led them to the last 16 in 2006 and again a year later, they lost their Match Day One ties – to Manchester United at Old Trafford and to Shahktar Donetsk in Ukraine.
The only time the Parkhead club avoided defeat in their opening tie was four years ago – the last time they played in the Champions League – when they drew 0-0 with Aalborg at home.
Every other opening group game has been lost – Juventus in Italy in 2001, Bayern Munich in Germany in 2003, and Barcelona at Parkhead in 2004 – which remains their only home defeat in 18 group games.
Neil Lennon knows from experience you can still qualify after losing your opening game. But, with the overwhelming presence in Group G of Barcelona – overall favourites to win the Champions League – taking maximum points at home against Benfica and Spartak Moscow is vital.
Lennon admitted: "It's important we make the most of our home advantage.
"But we will have to start well if we are to make inroads against Benfica who, on current form, are probably favourites for this game.
"They have an excellent forward line and have experience of playing at this level, which we don't.
"We have to be careful we don't get picked off if we are going to press Benfica.
"There should not be any nerves. This is a competition you should look forward to playing in. The players want to play at this level and believe they can play at this level."
The Hoops boss is disappointed he will go into tonight's crunch game without the injured Beram Kayal, Georgios Samaras, Joe Ledley, Anthony Stokes, Paddy McCourt, Filip Twardzik and Dylan McGeouch.
But Efe Ambrose has finally joined up with the squad, and the central defender will be assessed in training today before the manager decides if he starts, or, more likely, takes a seat on the bench for a match which Lennon knows has got the fans at fever pitch.
He said: "When the music comes up it elevates you to a different place.
"The nerves go completely and you get a huge shot in the arm from the atmosphere."