Crvena zvezda hold the edge in the tie between the 2018 group debutants following a 2-2 draw in Switzerland.
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Crvena zvezda scored two valuable away goals at Young Boys, although their UEFA Champions League play-off remains finely poised ahead of the second leg in Belgrade.
• A 76th-minute penalty from YB substitute Guillaume Hoarau ensured the first leg ended all square after Miloš Degenek (18) and Mateo García (46) had helped Crvena zvezda recover from Roger Assalé's seventh-minute opener.
• Both Crvena zvezda and Young Boys made their debuts in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2018/19. Each of the teams finished fourth in their respective sections, 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' second European game of the 2019/20 season – and Crvena zvezda's eighth.
• This is the teams' second tie, having been paired together in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round in 2004/05. Then, as now, the first game in Switzerland finished 2-2, Crvena zvezda easing through thanks to a 3-0 home second-leg win.
• Marco Wölfli was in goal for Young Boys in both matches.
• 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 did 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 subsequently came 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 contest.
• Crvena zvezda have won only three of their last 15 European fixtures (D6 L6) although the 4-1 defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday six of last season's UEFA Champions League is their only reverse in 12 UEFA matches in Belgrade (W6 D5). They have lost only two of their last 19 European home matches (W10 D7).
• Crvena zvezda have won five of their 14 matches against Swiss clubs (D5 L4), with four of those victories coming at home. They have lost two of the last three in Belgrade, however, most recently a 2-1 home defeat by Basel in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.
• When recording an away first-leg draw in UEFA competitions, Crvena zvezda have won the tie 11 times, losing six. When the first away game has finished 2-2, their aggregate record is W4 L2 – although they have lost the last two such contests, most recently against Ludogorets in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (2-4 h).
• Crvena zvezda's record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L1:
6-5 v Real Madrid, 1974/75 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final
2-4 v AC Milan, 1988/89 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round
5-3 v Marseille, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
4-3 v Metz, 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round
6-5 v Omonia, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
7-6 v København, 2019/20 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
• 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 have the consolation of claiming their first win in the UEFA Champions League proper against the Bianconeri on matchday six.
• The first-leg draw means Young Boys have won six of their 25 UEFA Champions League matches, qualifying included (D5 L14).
• Young Boys have never beaten Serbian opposition in five previous matches (D3 L2); apart from their three meetings with Crvena zvezda, they faced Partizan in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage (1-1 h, 1-2 a).
• YB have won three of the 11 UEFA competition ties in which they drew the home first leg, including the last two, most recently in last season's UEFA Champions League play-off against Dinamo Zagreb. That 2004/05 loss to Crvena zvezda is one of five ties in which the first game finished 2-2; their aggregate record in those contests is W2 L3.
• Young Boys' record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L0:
4-1 v Zimbru Chisinau, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
4-2 v Shakhtar Donetsk, 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
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 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.