FC Zenit St Petersburg have a tough task to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit against FC Basel 1893 in Russia.
• In the first leg, Zenit looked to have held out but just as it seemed the opportunities were drying up, Marcelo Díaz (83) and Alexander Frei (90+4p) struck to open up a notable advantage, with Zenit's Luís Neto being shown a late red card.
• The sides met for the first time in the first leg.
• Zenit's five games against Swiss clubs have ended W2 D0 L3 (W2 D0 L0 at home). Neither of their home victories – 3-1 against BSC Young Boys in the 2010/11 round of 32, 2-1 against Grasshopper Club in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round – would be enough this time round.
• Basel's ten games against Russian clubs have ended W5 D2 L3. In Russia, where they are unbeaten in their last three trips, it is W1 D2 L2.
• In the competition proper, Zenit have won all six of their home games since the advent of the UEFA Europa League by two-goal margins – three 2-0s, two 3-1s and a 4-2.
• Basel have not won in their last five European away games (D2 L3), and bowed out of last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 after winning the home leg, a 1-0 triumph against FC Bayern München being followed by a 7-0 away defeat.
• Zenit have not made it through the round of 16 in three attempts since beating Olympique de Marseille en route to winning the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, losing out to Udinese Calcio (2008/09 UEFA Cup), FC Twente (2010/11 UEFA Europa League) and SL Benfica (20011/12 UEFA Champions League). In all three ties, they won the home leg but lost the away fixture without scoring.
• Basel are in the round of 16 for the first time since 2005/06, when they beat RC Strasbourg before a quarter-final defeat by Middlesbrough FC. They played in the same stage of last season's UEFA Champions League, losing 7-1 on aggregate to FC Bayern München.
• Zenit and Basel are the only reigning domestic champions still in the competition.
• Winners in 2008, Zenit are one of three sides left in the competition who have had their hands on the UEFA Cup before, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984) and FC Internazionale Milano (1991, 1994, 1998), who meet in the round of 16.
• The round of 16 features teams from 11 UEFA member associations; eight nations have a single representative, with England and Russia both taking three teams through and Italy two. Russia enjoyed a perfect round of 32, with all three representatives – FC Anji Makhachkala, FC Rubin Kazan and Zenit – making progress.
• This could be Frei's last tie in UEFA competition. Switzerland's 42-goal all-time top scorer has announced he will hang up his boots in June.
• Raúl Bobadilla – who moved to Basel after scoring five in the group stage for BSC Young Boys but is not eligible for this tie – is level with Inter's Rodrigo Palacio and S.S. Lazio's Libor Kozák in second place in this season's scorers rankings. SSC Napoli's Edinson Cavani tops the table with seven.
• An industrious midfielder in his playing days, Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti started his managerial career in 1993/94 with former club Empoli FC and forged his reputation at Udinese Calcio before leading AS Roma to two UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Hired by Zenit in December 2009, he has won two Russian titles.
• Murat Yakin replaced Heiko Vogel as Basel coach in October. The older brother of fellow former Swiss international Hakan Yakin, he was capped 49 times as a defender and represented Grasshopper Club, VfB Stuttgart, Fenerbahçe SK and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, but enjoyed his best seasons as captain of Basel, leading them to three league titles and two Swiss Cups. He has also coached FC Concordia Basel, FC Thun and FC Luzern.
• Neither Zenit or Basel have featured in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition.
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