UEFA Europa Conference League - 2021/22 SeasonMatch press kits
|FC Basel 1893||St. Jakob-Park - BaselThursday 21 October 2021|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group H - Matchday 3
Basel host Cypriot champions Omonoia on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Europa Conference League hoping to build on an encouraging start to Group H as the clubs go head to head in UEFA competition for the first time.
• Both clubs kicked off with a goalless draw a long way from home – Basel at Qarabağ, Omonoia at Kairat – but their fortunes diverged on Matchday 2. Basel, helped by a double from Swiss international Michael Lang, defeated Kairat 4-2 at St. Jakob-Park while Omonoia let slip a half-time lead to lose 4-1 against Qarabağ in Nicosia.
• This is the fourth successive European campaign in which Basel have faced Cypriot opponents, the previous three all in the UEFA Europa League. They lost their 2018/19 play-off on away goals to Apollon Limassol (3-2 h, 0-1 a) but overcame APOEL in the following season's round of 32 (3-0 a, 1-0 h) – Cabral, Raoul Petretta, Valentin Stocker and Fabian Frei scoring against Omonoia's city rivals – before also getting the better of Anorthosis in last term's single-match third qualifying round (3-2 h). They have therefore won all three of their home games against Cypriot visitors.
• Omonoia's one previous experience of Swiss opposition was back in 1993 when they lost a UEFA Champions League preliminary round tie to Aarau (2-1 h, 0-2 a).
• Distant runners-up to Young Boys in the 2020/21 Swiss Super League, Basel also suffered disappointment in Europe, the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists going out in the play-offs of the same competition after a 1-3 home defeat by CSKA-Sofia.
• This season Basel are back for a 17th autumn appearance in a European group stage, their place as Switzerland's sole representatives in the UEFA Europa Conference League proper secured by three qualifying phase successes. Comprehensive victors against Partizani of Albania (3-0 h, 2-0 a) and Újpest of Hungary (2-1 a, 4-0 h), Patrick Rahmen's side were then taken to a penalty shoot-out in the play-offs by Swedish side Hammarby after the teams had traded 3-1 home wins, but ultimately prevailed 4-3 on spot kicks.
• Basel have won ten of their last 11 European home games, the exception that defeat by CSKA-Sofia. They have struck 14 goals at St. Jakob-Park in their four UEFA Europa Conference League fixtures.
• Omonoia are the reigning champions of Cyprus, winning their 21st league title last term, when they also returned to Europe after a three-season absence and competed in a group stage for the first time, finishing bottom of their UEFA Europa League section behind PSV Eindhoven, Granada and PAOK with four points.
• Henning Berg's side lost their opening European tie this season, against Dinamo Zagreb in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League (0-2 a, 0-1 h), then experienced contrasting penalty shoot-out fortunes in successive UEFA Europa League qualifiers. They beat Flora Tallinn on spot kicks (1-0 h, 1-2 a) but lost by the same method in their play-off against Antwerp (4-2 h, 0-2 a), which meant a further transfer to the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage.
• Omonoia have failed to win any of their last eight European away matches (D2 L6), although the goalless draw at Kairat ended a run of five successive defeats outside Cyprus.
Links and trivia
• This is Omonoia boss Henning Berg's 50th European match as a head coach.
• Omonoia's Czech defender Jan Lecjaks played in Switzerland for Young Boys from 2011 to 2017.
• Basel's Brazilian striker Arthur Cabral scored in all six matches of the club's UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying campaign, finding the net eight times in total. He scored all four of the Swiss side's goals in the play-off against Hammarby and also converted the winning penalty in the shoot-out. He opened his group stage account by opening the scoring in the 4-2 win against Kairat on Matchday 2.