A first meeting between CSKA Moskva and Basel gives each the chance to take the initiative in the race to hang on to Manchester United's coat-tails in Group A.
Article top media content
PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Basel 1893 are level on points in Group A, and their fixtures in first Russia then Switzerland are likely to have a significant say in the outcome of the section.
• The teams, who are meeting for the first time, are both on three points with a win and a defeat each, although it is CSKA who hold the historical edge having won all four of their previous games against a Swiss club.
• CSKA have won all their previous meetings with Swiss opposition, including getting the better of BSC Young Boys in this season's play-off round (1-0 away, 2-0 home).
• The Moscow club's only other encounters against a Swiss side came in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they recorded two emphatic victories against Lausanne-Sport. CSKA won 3-0 in Lausanne and 5-1 back in Moscow.
• Russian Premier League runners-up in 2016/17, the Moscow club are in the group stage for an 11th time, and a fifth straight season.
• CSKA have come bottom of their group in their last four UEFA Champions League campaigns. In 2016/17, having qualified automatically for the group phase, they finished behind AS Monaco FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Tottenham Hotspur FC in their section.
• CSKA won their first five European fixtures this term, the first four without conceding a goal, and triumphed 2-1 at SL Benfica on matchday one, but went down 4-1 at home to Manchester United FC last time out, their heaviest home defeat in European competition.
• CSKA were without a win in their last five European home games before a 1-0 second-leg success over AEK Athens FC in the third qualifying round. They beat Young Boys 2-0 in Moscow in their ensuing play-off, the United defeat meaning they have won two of their last three home fixtures.
• Their 2-0 first-leg triumph at AEK ended CSKA's run of ten European matches without a win (D4 L6). The victory at Benfica was their first in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 3-2 home win against PSV Eindhoven on 30 September 2015; subsequently their record had been D4 L6.
• That was Basel's first defeat in Russia since a 3-2 loss at SC Rotor Volgograd in the 1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup group stage. Their record away to Russian clubs is W1 D2 L3 – the sole victory was a 2-0 triumph in Moscow, at FC Spartak Moskva in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• Bebbi's overall record against Russian teams is W5 D2 L4. They have won only one of the last four.
• Basel were 5-0 home winners against SL Benfica on matchday two – their biggest UEFA Champions League victory.
• The Benfica success ended a winless run of nine European matches, home and away (D3 L6), since a 2-1 home success against AS Saint-Étienne on 25 February 2016.
• Basel qualified by winning an eighth successive Swiss title in 2016/17.
• This is their eighth group stage campaign, and their fourth in five years. Last term they came fourth in Group A, collecting just two points from their six outings.
• Basel have not won in six European away matches (D1 L5) having won four of their previous five.
Coach and player links
• As a player, Basel coach Raphaël Wicky conceded a penalty during Switzerland's 2-2 draw against Russia in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying; Sergei Ignashevich scored from the spot, one of his two goals in the game.
• Wicky was in the Hamburger SV team beaten 1-0 at CSKA in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Alan Dzagoev scored twice in Russia's 4-1 group stage defeat of Marek Suchý and the Czech Republic at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Suchý played for Spartak Moskva between 2010 and 2013, making eight appearances against CSKA (W2 D2 L4). He was sent off in a 2-1 defeat in April 2012 but celebrated a 3-0 home Spartak win in his last game against CSKA, on 22 September 2013.
• Basel's Geoffroy Serey Dié was captain of the Ivory Coast team that beat Russia 2-0 in a friendly last March. Igor Akinfeev and Aleksandr Golovin started, Viktor Vasin and Mario Fernandes were unused substitutes.
• International team-mates:
Pontus Wernbloom & Alexander Fransson (Sweden)
• Have played together:
Aaron Olanare and Mohamed Elyounoussi (Sarpsborg 08 FF, 2013)
• Has played in Switzerland:
Georgi Milanov (Grasshopper-Club Zürich, 2016)
• Pontus Wernbloom and Aleksandr Golovin are both a booking away from a ban.
• Igor Akinfeev has not kept a clean sheet in 45 outings in the UEFA Champions League proper, since a goalless draw at Arsenal FC on 1 November 2006.
• CSKA were four matches without a win in all competitions prior to Saturday's 1-0 victory away to FC Krasnodar.
• The Army Men have kept five successive clean sheets in the Russian Premier League. Akinfeev was voted CSKA player of the month in September.
• Golovin (ankle) and Alan Dzagoev (Achilles) missed Russia's October friendlies against South Korea (4-2) and Iran (1-1).
• Vasili Berezutski (calf) and Wernbloom (wound) have also been sidelined, though the latter was an unused substitute against Krasnodar.
• Akinfeev won his 102th cap against South Korea. Only Viktor Onopko (109), now CSKA assistant coach, and club-mate Sergei Ignashevich (120) have managed more.
• Taulant Xhaka is a booking away from a ban.
• Basel have 18 points from 11 Swiss Super League fixtures this term – 13 fewer than they had at the same stage last year.
• The Bebbi lost three of their opening eight league games this term, one more than they suffered in the whole of last season.
• Mohamed Elyounoussi scored a hat-trick in Norway's 8-0 win in San Marino on 5 October in the European Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.
• Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who has scored eight goals in 12 appearances this season (half of them penalties), suffered a broken metatarsal against Benfica on matchday two.
• On 2 October, Basel announced the signing of Swiss under-21 forward Albian Ajeti from FC St Gallen.