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Ludogorets v Basel background

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad will look to avenge last season's UEFA Champions League play-off loss to FC Basel 1893 when the teams meet again in Group B.

The Ludogorets and Basel players step out before last season's meeting in Sofia
The Ludogorets and Basel players step out before last season's meeting in Sofia ©UEFA.com

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad will not be short of motivation against FC Basel 1893 as they continue their quest for their first Group B points as well as seeking revenge for last season's play-off defeat by the Swiss title holders.

Previous meetings
• Basel beat Ludogorets 6-2 on aggregate in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League play-off round, winning 4-2 in Sofia – where Júnior Caiçara was sent off – and 2-0 back at St. Jakob-Park.

• The lineups for that first-leg encounter in Bulgaria on 21 August last year were:
Ludogorets: V Stoyanov, Júnior Caiçara, Barthe, Moţi, Minev, Zlatinski, Dyakov, Abalo (Misidjan 63), Marcelinho (Fábio Espinho 72), I Stoyanov, Bezjak (Michel 56).
Basel: Sommer, Voser, Schär, Ajeti, Safari, Díaz, Frei, Elneny, Salah (Delgado 88), Stocker (Sauro 85), Sio (Xhaka 65).

Match background

Ludogorets
• Ludogorets came close to taking something in each of their opening two matches but eventually lost to late goals against both Liverpool FC (1-2a) and Real Madrid CF (1-2h).

• Since their play-off loss to Basel in August 2013, Ludogorets have played nine home fixtures in UEFA competition, winning four, drawing three and losing only two.

• As last season, Georgi Dermendzhiev's team are playing their European home matches 400km from Razgrad at Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski in Sofia, as their own Ludogorets Arena does not meet UEFA's requirements.

• No Bulgarian side has ever obtained a point in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Basel
• The visitors are looking to build on a 1-0 home victory against Liverpool last time out.

• Basel have conceded five goals in each of their last two away matches in UEFA competition – losing 5-0 after extra time at Valencia CF in last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, then 5-1 at Real Madrid in their opening Group B fixture.

• Basel posted back-to-back victories against PFC CSKA Sofia in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage – winning 2-0 at the Vasil Levski on 22 October 2009 before a 3-1 home triumph.

Player links
• Paulo Sousa appeared as a substitute for Juventus in a 5-1 victory over CSKA in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup first round.

• Marco Streller and Behrang Safari are the only survivors of Basel's 2009 Sofia trip, while Ludogorets's Yordan Minev was in that CSKA team with Basel's Ivan Ivanov.

• Streller also played at the Vasil Levski for Switzerland in a 0-0 draw with Bulgaria in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, a match for which Vladislav Stoyanov was on the Bulgaria bench.

• Ivanov played for FK Partizan in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round loss to Ludogorets in August 2013.

• On 15 October 2013, Marek Suchý was in the Czech Republic side that won 1-0 at the same venue in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria. Stoyanov, Minev and Basel's Ivanov were all in the home lineup. Suchý also helped SK Slavia Praha beat CSKA 4-2 at home in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.

• With PSFC Chernomorets Burgas, Stoyanov lost twice against Grasshopper Club in the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup (0-3a, 0-1h).

Match facts

Ludogorets 
• Minev is a booking away from a suspension after picking up yellow cards on matchdays one and two.

• Ludogorets have won only ten of their 22 games in all competitions this campaign.

• Ludogorets have picked up 22 points in 12 league games this season, six points fewer than at the same stage last term when they were top of the table.

• Marcelinho's equaliser in Friday's 3-1 win at bottom side FC Haskovo was his 26th top-flight goal for Ludogorets, a new club record.

• Centre-back Georgi Terziev, who has made just one appearance since August because of a groin problem, came through 90 minutes unscathed on Friday.

• The Bulgarian outfit parted company with coach Stoicho Stoev after the first leg of their third qualifying round tie against FK Partizan, replacing him with the club's academy director, Georgi Dermendzhiev.

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

• Shkelzen Gashi's first goal since 17 August earned the Swiss Super League leaders a 1-0 success at BSC Young Boys on Saturday.

• Basel have lost three of their last five away matches, against Grasshoppers (3-1), Real Madrid (5-1) and FC St Gallen (2-1).

• Having not played since sustaining a foot injury on 29 August, Philipp Degen made his comeback against Young Boys.

• Paulo Sousa's side conceded a 92nd-minute Albert Bunjaku goal as they lost at St Gallen on 4 October, Basel's third defeat of the Swiss Super League season – already one more than they suffered in the whole of 2013/14.

• Fabian Schär (knee), Gashi (adductors) and Geoffrey Serey Die (thigh) pulled out of international duty earlier this month with minor knocks.

• Safari has not played since the Liverpool victory because of a thigh injury.

• Having made his UEFA Champions League debut on matchday one, Breel Embolo, 17, registered a hat-trick five days later in Basel's 4-0 win at second division FC Winterthur in the Swiss Cup second round.

• Ivanov, out since January with a knee problem, is Basel's only long-term absentee. On 15 September he underwent another operation and is expected to be out for a further six months.