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Basel face familiar threat in CFR

Published: Thursday 16 August 2012, 15.36CET
FC Basel 1893 take on CFR 1907 Cluj in the UEFA Champions League play-offs two years after suffering an unwelcome upset against the Romanian outfit in the group stage.
Basel face familiar threat in CFR
CFR players celebrate after claiming the scalp of Basel in September 2010 ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 16 August 2012, 15.36CET

Basel face familiar threat in CFR

FC Basel 1893 take on CFR 1907 Cluj in the UEFA Champions League play-offs two years after suffering an unwelcome upset against the Romanian outfit in the group stage.

FC Basel 1893 and CFR 1907 Cluj square off in the UEFA Champions League play-offs – two years after the Swiss side suffered an unwelcome upset against the Romanian outfit.

• Basel went down 2-1 to CFR in their opening 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage fixture and although the Swiss side bounced back to win the return at St. Jakob-Park 1-0, the memory of that first meeting means there will be no risk of them underestimating their opponents.

• Basel won through to these play-offs by beating FC Flora Tallinn 5-0 on aggregate, then scraping past Molde FK 2-1 in the third qualifying round – albeit only after Yann Sommer had saved a last-minute penalty in the second leg. Ioan Andone's CFR, for their part, were 3-1 aggregate winners against FC Slovan Liberec.

Previous meetings
• Ionuţ Rada and Lacina Traoré scored twice inside 12 minutes to set up CFR's historic victory over Basel on 15 September 2010. Valentin Stocker pulled a goal back but it was not enough.

• Federico Almerares's 15th-minute strike settled the encounter in Switzerland on 23 November that year, a result that confirmed the elimination of a CFR side who lost Felice Piccolo to a red card after 88 minutes. The result kept alive Basel's hopes of progress, though they would eventually finish third.

• Basel were coached at the time by Thorsten Fink and CFR by Sorin Cârţu and the lineups were as follows:
Basel: Costanzo, Inkoom, Abraham, Ferati, Safari, Tembo (Zanni 90), Cabral, Yapi, Shaqiri (Xhaka 87), Frei (Atan 90+2), Almerares.
CFR: Nuno Claro, Tony, Cadú, Piccolo, Rada, Culio (Sforzini 74), Tomás Costa, Kivuvu, Leo Veloso (Koné 58), Traoré (Bjelanović 46), Rafael.

Match background
• Basel are bidding to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the third consecutive campaign and, in the process, build on their success of last season, when they reached the last 16 for the first time since 2002/03.

• For their part CFR want to make it a hat-trick of appearances after featuring in the group stage in 2008/09 and 2010/11.

• Basel had never faced Romanian opposition before their 2010/11 encounters with CFR but subsequently took on FC Oţelul Galaţi in last term's UEFA Champions League group stage – and posted home (2-1) and away (3-2) victories.

Team ties
• Vasile Maftei and Rada helped Rapid Bucureşti beat Alexander Frei's Stade Rennais FC side 2-0 in a UEFA Cup group stage match in 2005/06. Another current CFR player, Mihai Mincă, was the substitute goalkeeper that night, who then played along with the other two in a subsequent 2-1 loss at Marco Streller's VfB Stuttgart in the same section.

• Philipp Degen was an unused substitute for Liverpool FC in a 1-0 win against an FC Unirea Urziceni side including Maftei in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Sommer and Valentin Stocker featured in Switzerland's 1-0 home friendly loss to Romania in May this year but there were no CFR players involved.

Last updated: 16/08/12 17.34CET

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