FC Basel 1893 will look to avenge their last-gasp defeat at PFC Ludogorets Razgrad when the Group B rivals reconvene in Switzerland on matchday four.
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FC Basel 1893 will look to avenge their last-gasp defeat at PFC Ludogorets Razgrad when the teams reconvene in Switzerland on matchday four.
• Ludogorets' 1-0 home success over Basel was the first win by any Bulgarian side in the UEFA Champions League group stage – and it lifted them level with both Basel and Liverpool FC on three points.
• 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 second-leg encounter in Switzerland on 27 August last year were:
Basel: Sommer, Voser, Schär (Sauro 55), Ajeti, Safari (Degen 77), Díaz, Frei, Xhaka, Salah (Delgado 70), Sio, Stocker.
Ludogorets: V Stoyanov, Choco, Mäntylä, Moţi, Minev, Zlatinski (Fábio Espinho 59), Dyakov, I Stoyanov (Vitinha 86), Marcelinho, Misidjan (Aleksandrov 73), Bezjak.
• Beaten in both away games so far in Group B, Basel won their first home fixture 1-0 against Liverpool.
• The Swiss champions have won six and lost just one of their nine home games played in UEFA competition since the start of last season.
• 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.
• Ludogorets lost their opening away game in Group B to a 93rd-minute penalty at Liverpool.
• Last season Ludogorets put together a run of four straight victories on the road in the UEFA Europa League – beating PSV Eindhoven (2-0), FC Chornomorets Odesa (1-0), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (2-1) and SS Lazio (1-0) – but since then have gone five matches without a win on their travels.
Coach and 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).
• Geoffroy Serey Die is suspended following his red card on matchday three. Taulant Xhaka is a yellow card away from a ban.
• Marcelo Díaz is available after completing the three-game ban he received for his dismissal in Basel's UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg against Valencia CF last season.
• Basel leapfrogged FC Zürich, who lost 3-2 at home to bottom side FC Luzern, at the top of the table on Saturday after a 2-0 defeat of visitors Grasshopper Club.
• Basel drew 1-1 with FC Sion on 25 October thanks to substitute Giovanni Sio's equaliser.
• Sio scored again four days later as Sousa's team prevailed 3-1 at FC Wohlen to reach the Swiss Cup quarter-finals. Yoichiro Kakitani and Breel Embolo, with his fifth goal in the competition this season, were also on target.
• Marco Streller is sidelined with a slipped disc.
• 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 unavailable for a further six months.
• Minev is suspended after picking up his third yellow card of the campaign on matchday three.
• Three days after accounting for Basel, Georgi Dermendzhiev's men defeated PFC Cherno More Varna 2-0 at home.
• The Bulgarian title holders equalled their biggest margin of victory this season when they prevailed 4-0 at lowly PFC Marek Dupnitza on Friday, Dani Abalo scoring twice.
• Ludogorets have won 13 of their 25 games in all competitions this campaign.
• The Eagles from Razgrad have won their last four matches and kept a clean sheet in four of the past five.
• Ludogorets have amassed 28 points from 14 league fixtures this season, three points fewer than at the same stage last term when they were joint top of the table.
• Marcelinho's equaliser in the 3-1 win at FC Haskovo on 17 October was his 26th top-flight goal for Ludogorets, a new club record.
• 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, Dermendzhiev.