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Basel rivals with backs to the wall

Switzerland play their second Group A fixture against Turkey in Basel with the hopes of both sides hanging in the balance after defeat in the first round of matches.

Turkey and Switzerland were involved in a fiery affair in their last meeting
Turkey and Switzerland were involved in a fiery affair in their last meeting ©Getty Images

There is no margin for error when UEFA EURO 2008™ co-hosts Switzerland play their second Group A fixture against Turkey in Basel. Both teams lost their opening games on Saturday and a second defeat here could well signal the end of their ambitions.

• If that were not enough to guarantee nerves, the fact this fixture is a reprise of the sides' stormy encounter in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup means tension levels may be high at St. Jakob-Park.

• Switzerland went down 1-0 to the Czech Republic in the tournament's curtain-raiser, succumbing to Václav Svěrkoš's 71st-minute goal. To compound that blow to Swiss morale, the co-hosts also lost the services of captain and chief striker Alexander Frei for the remainder of the tournament with a knee ligament injury.

• Switzerland had never before lost their first match in a major tournament but for Turkey, this backs-to-the-wall situation is nothing new following reverses in the opening game of every single previous finals appearance – at the 1954 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, and EURO '96™ and UEFA EURO 2000™.

• Fatih Terim's men sit at the foot of the Group A table having lost 2-0 to Portugal in Geneva through goals from Pepe and Raul Meireles.

• History offers little hope to Switzerland, eliminated at the group stage in 1996 and 2004, but Turkey can at least look to emulate their predecessors of 2000 who bounced back to make the quarter-finals – not to mention the team of 2002 who reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup after an opening defeat by a Brazil side coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari, now in charge of Portugal.

• This will be the teams' first encounter since Köbi Kuhn's Switzerland overcame Turkey in a qualifying play-off for Germany 2006 when, after winning 2-0 in Berne through goals from Philippe Senderos and Valon Behrami, they prevailed on away goals following a 4-2 second-leg loss in Istanbul on 16 November 2005.

• Frei's second-minute penalty gave the Swiss a 1-0 lead in that return leg before Turkey struck back through goals from Tuncay Şanlı (22, 36) and a Necati Ates spot-kick (52). However, Marco Streller's 84th-minute effort reduced the arrears for the Swiss and rendered Tuncay's 89th-minute hat-trick strike in vain.

• Following violent incidents at the end of the match, Turkey had to play three home matches at a neutral ground and behind closed doors. Turkey defender Alpay Özalan was banned for six competitive matches, Switzerland's Benjamin Huggel and Turkey's Emre Belözoglu for four, and Turkey's Serkan Balci for two.

• The teams for that last meeting in Istanbul were:
Turkey: Volkan Demirel, Tolga Seyhan, Alpay Özalan, Emre Belözoglu (Yıldıray Baştürk), Ergün Penbe, Selcuk Sahin, Necati Ates (Fatih Tekke), Hakan Sukur, Hamit Altıntop, Serhat Akın (Tümer Metin), Tuncay Şanlı.

Switzerland: Pascal Zuberbühler, Johann Vogel, Ricardo Cabanas, Raphael Wicky, Alexander Frei, Tranquillo Barnetta, Christoph Spycher, Patrick Müller, Daniel Gygax (Marco Streller (Benjamin Huggel)), Philippe Senderos, Philipp Degen (Valon Behrami).

• Turkey have more wins overall in matches between the countries, having recorded seven victories, three draws and four defeats in 14 fixtures against the Swiss. In Switzerland, their record is P7 W2 D3 L2.

• The two sides reached the UEFA European Championship finals for the first time when they qualified together from the same group for EURO '96™, following a campaign where each recorded a 2-1 away win against the other. Hakan Sükür and Ogün Temizkanoglu were Turkey's scorers in the 2-1 victory in Berne in April 1995, which remains their most recent success in Switzerland.

• As their names suggest, Switzerland trio Hakan Yakin, Gökhan Inler and Eren Derdiyok are of Turkish descent. Yakin's brother Murat, a former Fenerbahçe SK player, represented Switzerland at UEFA EURO 2004™ while another Swiss international born to Turkish parents, Kubilay Türkyilmaz, remains one of Switzerland's all-time greats. Türkyilmaz, who had a spell with Galatasaray AS in the mid-1990s, struck 34 goals in 62 appearances, including the Swiss goal in a 1-1 draw with England in the opening match at EURO '96™.

• Hakan Yakin spent two games on loan at Turkish club Galatasaray during the 2004/05 season.

• Turkey coach Fatih Terim oversaw Galatasaray's 8-2 aggregate victory against Swiss club FC Sion in the second qualifying round of the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League – a tie that featured defender Stéphane Grichting.

• Galatasaray got the better of Sion again in the UEFA Cup first round last autumn, overcoming a 3-2 first-leg deficit with a 5-1 win in the return in Istanbul where Turkish international Arda Turan scored.

• As a player, Terim made his international debut in Turkey's 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Basel in a UEFA European Championship preliminary round match in April 1975.

• Terim's Swiss counterpart Kuhn was a member of the FC Zürich side that overcame Galatasaray in the first round of the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs' Cup, en route to a semi-final defeat by Real Madrid CF.

• A Switzerland side containing Johan Djourou and Valon Behrami lost to Turkey in the semi-final of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship on Swiss soil in 2004. After beating the hosts 3-2, Turkey lost the final 1-0 against Spain.

• This is Switzerland's third UEFA European Championship finals appearance following two previous first-round exits in 1996 and 2004.

• Turkey's two previous finals appearances in 1996 and 2000 brought a first-round exit followed by a quarter-final appearance.

• Switzerland's Johan Vonlanthen holds the record for being the tournament's youngest goalscorer. He was 18 years and 141 days old when he found the net in the 3-1 defeat by France on 21 June 2004.

• Three teams have won the UEFA European Championship as hosts. Spain and Italy triumphed in 1964 and 1968 respectively, when staging the semi-finals and final. France in 1984 became the only winners since a proper final tournament was established in 1980.

• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth edition that features a final tournament with a group phase.