United face Basel threat on final day
Monday, 28 November 2011
Manchester United FC have only fallen in the group stage twice but defeat at FC Basel 1893 would ensure a third early exit and send the Swiss side through from Group C.
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Manchester United FC will look to prevent an unwanted hat-trick when they take on FC Basel 1893 in their decisive final Group C fixure.
• In 16 previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaigns, United have failed to progress only twice – in 1994/95 and 2005/06 – and they will be determined to ensure they do not slip up for a third time at St. Jakob-Park.
• Basel will have other ideas for although United need only a draw to qualify, Heiko Vogel's hosts know that a victory would lift them above the Premier League champions and into the last 16 for only the second time.
• United came from behind to beat Basel 3-1 in the teams' first encounter in Switzerland on 26 November 2002. Ruud van Nistelrooy (2) and Ole Gunnar Solskjær hit three goals in seven second-half minutes after Christian Giménez's first-minute strike.
• The lineups were:
Basel: Zuberbühler, Atouba, Cantaluppi, Haas, M Yakin, Zwyssig, Chipperfield (Tum 73), Ergić (Barberis 84), H Yakin, Giménez, Rossi (Duruz 84).
Man Utd: Barthez, O'Shea, Silvestre, Brown (May 90), P Neville, Fortune, Scholes, Verón, Giggs, Van Nistelrooy (Forlán 73), Solskjær (Chadwick 90).
• Darren Fletcher made his United debut in the return at Old Trafford on 12 March 2003. Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Scott Chipperfield also featured in the 1-1 draw, Gary Neville cancelling out another Giménez goal. United won that second group stage section with Christian Gross's Basel third, level on points with second-placed Juventus.
• The 2002/03 campaign was Basel's first taste of the last 16 and also the only time they have won more than one home game in a UEFA Champions League group – something they must repeat to snatch second place from United.
• Basel drew 3-3 at Old Trafford in September – when only Ashley Young's late header denied them victory – but United are unbeaten in eight away games in the UEFA Champions League, a sequence that features six wins and seven clean sheets.
• In Basel's last home meeting with English opposition they lost their decisive final UEFA Europa League group game against Fulham FC 3-2 in December 2009, when needing only a draw. Their overall home record against visitors from England is W2 D2 L3.
• Sir Alex Ferguson achieved his biggest European victory when Aberdeen FC beat FC Sion 7-0 in the opening match of their triumphant 1982/83 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign. They also won the return 4-1 in Switzerland.
• Sir Alex's Aberdeen got the better of Servette FC in the 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round, 1-0 on aggregate. However, his last European match before joining United was a 3-0 defeat at Sion, who eliminated Aberdeen 4-2 on aggregate in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round.
• Wayne Rooney scored England's opener in a 3-1 win in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at Basel's St. Jakob-Park in September 2010. Xherdan Shaqiri replied for a Switzerland side including Alexander Frei and Marco Streller.
• Young scored and Ferdinand also played when England drew 2-2 with Switzerland in the return at Wembley in June. Shaqiri and debutant Granit Xhaka were in the Swiss team.
• Rooney scored twice against Switzerland in a UEFA EURO 2004 group match in Portugal; Michael Owen and Basel's Alexander Frei and Benjamin Huggel also featured.
• David de Gea and Yann Sommer were in the opposing goals at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final in June, De Gea's Spain winning 2-0 against a Switzerland team including Shaqiri and Xhaka.
• Fletcher's Scotland beat Sandro Wieser's Liechtenstein 2-1 in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Glasgow in September 2010.
• Nemanja Vidić was in the Serbia side beaten 2-1 by Chipperfield's Australia at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
• Alexander Frei scored for Switzerland in a 2-0 win that eliminated Park Ji-Sung's Korea Republic from the 2006 World Cup.
• Park Joo-Ho made one Korea Republic appearance alongside Park Ji-Sung prior to the latter's international retirement.