Having each made their group stage debut in 2018/19, Young Boys and Crvena zvezda are now targeting a return.
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Both Young Boys and Crvena zvezda made their debuts in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2018/19, but one of the two faces play-off disappointment this season as they meet in the first leg in Berne.
• Each of the teams finished fourth in their respective sections last season, although both had the consolation of memorable home victories. Crvena zvezda beat eventual champions Liverpool to secure Serbia's first group stage win, while Young Boys bowed out in style with a 2-1 defeat of Juventus on matchday six.
• This is Young Boys' first European game of the 2019/20 season – and Crvena zvezda's seventh.
• This is the teams' second tie, having been paired together in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round in 2004/05. Then, Crvena zvezda eased through thanks to a 3-0 home second-leg win after a 2-2 draw in Switzerland.
• Marco Wölfli was in goal for Young Boys in both matches.
• Champions of Switzerland for the 13th time in 2018/19, having claimed their first league title in 32 years 12 months earlier, YB are attempting to successfully negotiate UEFA Champions League qualifying for only the second time. In 2018/19, Gerardo Seoane's side beat Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs, winning 2-1 in the second leg in Croatia to complete a 3-2 aggregate triumph.
• That was Young Boys' first play-off success at the fourth attempt – they fell at this stage in 2010/11 (3-6 aggregate v Tottenham), 2016/17 (2-9 v Borussia Mönchengladbach) and 2017/18 (0-3 v CSKA Moskva). This season is their seventh UEFA Champions League campaign.
• In last season's group stage, the Berne club finished bottom of a section involving Juventus, Manchester United and Valencia – although they did claim their first win in the UEFA Champions League proper against the Bianconeri on matchday six.
• The win against Juventus was Young Boys' sixth in their 24 UEFA Champions League matches, qualifying included (D4 L14).
• Young Boys have never beaten Serbian opposition in four previous matches (D2 L2); apart from their 2004 meetings with Crvena zvezda, they faced Partizan in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage (1-1 h, 1-2 a).
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19, their 29th championship overall.
• The Belgrade club took part in the UEFA Champions League play-offs for the first time last season, beating Salzburg on away goals (0-0 h, 2-2 a). They had kicked off their campaign in the first qualifying round and went on to finish fourth in their group, although they break new ground for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of Liverpool on matchday four, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals.
• This season, Vladan Milojević's side again started their European campaign in the first qualifying round, where they were 2-1 aggregate winners against Sūduva of Lithuania (0-0 a, 2-1 h). They have subsequently come through tight ties against HJK Helsinki (2-0 h, 1-2 a) and FC København (1-1 h, 1-1 a, 7-6 pens) to set up this tie.
• Crvena zvezda have won only three of their last 14 European fixtures (D5 L6) and are seven games without an away victory (D3 L4) since a 2-1 triumph at Spartak Trnava in last season's third qualifying round second leg.
• Crvena zvezda have won five of their 13 matches against Swiss clubs (D4 L4), with four of those victories coming at home. Their sole success in Switzerland (D3 L2) was a 4-1 second-leg win at Grasshoppers in the first round of their victorious 1990/91 European Cup campaign (5-2 aggregate).
• The Belgrade club's last match against a Swiss team was a 2-1 home defeat by Basel in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.
Links and trivia
• Young Boys forward Miralem Sulejmani has won 20 caps for Serbia, and came through the ranks at Partizan having joined the club aged 11, departing in 2007.
• Crvena zvezda's El Fardou Ben Nabouhane made his senior debut for French side Le Havre in March 2008, coming on as a substitute in a 4-1 defeat at Troyes in which Guillaume Hoarau scored the visitors' only goal.
• Veljko Simić was on Basel's books between 2014 and 2017, having loan spells at Schaffhausen (2016/17) and Chiasso (2017) before joining another Swiss side, Winterthur, in September 2017.
• Marko Marin was in the Olympiacos side that won 1-0 at Young Boys in the UEFA Europa League group stage in September 2016.