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Real Madrid v Basel background

Exactly 115 days after they lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in Lisbon, Real Madrid CF will kick off the defence of their crown against Group B rivals FC Basel 1893.

Gareth Bale celebrates Madrid's second goal as they won the final in May
Gareth Bale celebrates Madrid's second goal as they won the final in May ©Sportsfile

Less than four months after they conquered the 'Décima' in Lisbon, Real Madrid CF will begin their title defence against Group B rivals FC Basel 1893.

Previous meetings
• In the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round, Madrid came from behind to beat Basel 2-1 in Switzerland and then won by the same score at home.

• The lineups for that previous meeting in Madrid were:
Real Madrid: García, Zunzunegui (De Felipe 30), Verdugo, Grosso, Benito, Zoco, Aguilar, Amancio (Toni Grande 72), Santillana, Velázquez, Anzarda.
Basel: Kunz, Fischli, Mundschin, Ramseier, Siegenthaler, Sundermann, Balmer, Odermatt, Hitzfeld, Hasler, Demarmels.

Match background

Real Madrid
• Madrid are looking to become the first team to retain the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era.

• The Blancos won their record tenth European Cup on 24 May by beating Club Atlético de Madrid 4-1 after extra time through goals from Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo, the tournament's 17-goal top scorer.

• Madrid also won all six home games last term, scoring 17 goals and conceding three. They are unbeaten in 18 UEFA Champions League matches at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, winning 16, dating back to April 2011.

• In 44 European Cup campaigns, the Spanish side have failed to win their opening home game only twice, most recently a 3-3 draw against RSC Anderlecht in 1962.

• The Merengues have a 100% record at home against Swiss opposition: W10 D0 L0 F42 A2.

• Carlo Ancelotti's side beat Sevilla FC 2-0 to win the UEFA Super Cup on 12 August in Cardiff.

• The Rot-Blauen suffered a 5-0 extra-time defeat at Valencia CF on their last visit to Spain in April in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, wiping out their 3-0 first-leg lead.

• The Swiss title holders started last season in the UEFA Champions League and won 2-1 at Chelsea FC on matchday one, only to end up in third place in their group behind Chelsea and FC Schalke 04.

• The Bebbi are still seeking a first win in Spain, where their record is W0 D2 L5.

• Marco Streller and Behrang Safari played in the 1-1 draw at FC Barcelona in the 2008/09 group stage.

Player links
• As AC Milan coach, Carlo Ancelotti oversaw home (3-1) and away (1-0) wins over FC Zürich in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round. With Italy he played against the Swiss in 1988 UEFA European Championship qualifying, winning 3-2 at home and drawing 0-0 in Berne.

• Paulo Sousa's last UEFA Champions League match as a player was with Panathinaikos FC in a 3-0 loss in Madrid in the 2001/02 second group stage. He also lost 1-0 there with Juventus in the 1995/96 quarter-finals – although Juve prevailed in the return – and helped FC Internazionale Milano to a 3-1 home win over Madrid in the 1998/99 group stage.

• At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, James Rodríguez of Madrid scored in Colombia's victories over Serey Die's Ivory Coast (2-1, with Giovanni Sio watching on the bench) and Yoichiro Kakitani's Japan (4-1).

• Basel's Marcelo Díaz helped Chile eliminate Iker Casillas and Ramos's Spain in the World Cup group stage but then lost to Marcelo's Brazil in the round of 16.

• Kakitani scored past Keylor Navas in Japan's 3-1 pre-World Cup friendly win over Costa Rica.

• Gareth Bale played against Basel for Tottenham Hotspur FC in a 2-2 home draw in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League quarter-final, but missed the second leg, which Basel won on penalties. Bale scored twice against Switzerland for Wales in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, the matches finishing 4-1 to Switzerland at St. Jakob-Park, where Streller also scored, and 2-0 to Wales at Swansea Stadium respectively.

• Toni Kroos won three of four UEFA Champions League matches against Basel for FC Bayern München, including a 7-0 home triumph in the 2011/12 round of 16.

• Walter Samuel made 30 Liga appearances for Madrid in 2004/05.

• Samuel played with Casillas at Madrid and this tie features other old club connections: Álvaro Arbeloa and Philipp Degen (Liverpool FC), Asier Illaramendi and Sio (Real Sociedad de Fútbol B), and Sami Khedira and Streller (VfB Stuttgart).

Match facts

Real Madrid

• Madrid have lost three of their six games in all competitions this season – it took until March for the Merengues to suffer as many defeats last term.

• Cristiano Ronaldo took his tally to 14 goals in 17 games against Atlético on Saturday, winning and converting a penalty, but home team Madrid nevertheless lost 2-1.

• Madrid were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Atlético in the Spanish Super Cup. James Rodríguez registered his first goal for the Whites in the 1-1 first-leg draw on 19 August.

• Six days after opening their Liga campaign with a home win against Córdoba CF on 25 August, Carlo Ancelotti's side established a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes against Real Sociedad de Fútbol only to lose 4-2.

• Sergio Ramos scored his tenth goal for Spain as the holders opened their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign with a 5-1 defeat of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 8 September. Daniel Carvajal withdrew from the squad because of a thigh injury.


• Marcelo Díaz begins a three-match ban following his dismissal in Basel's UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg against Valencia CF last season.

• Basel slipped to their second defeat of the season on Saturday, with Davide Calla sent off six minutes from time in a 3-1 loss to a Grasshopper Club side that began the day bottom of the table.

• Paulo Sousa, who replaced Murat Yakin as Basel coach in the summer, has won six of his first eight Swiss Super League games.

• The Swiss champions began their title defence on 19 July.

• Shkelzen Gashi, the Swiss top flight's 19-goal leading scorer last term, has struck four times in eight league outings since a summer move from Grasshopper Club.

• Gashi was also on target as Basel, losing finalists last season, eased into the second round of the Swiss Cup with a 4-0 victory at CS Italien on 23 August. They visit FC Winterthur on 21 September.

• Ivan Ivanov, out since January with a knee problem, is Basel's only long-term absentee.

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