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Marseille vs Basel: UEFA Europa Conference League background, form guide, previous meetings

Former European champions Marseille take on Swiss opposition for the first time since 2009 as they host Basel in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

Marseille overcame Qarabağ to reach the last 16
Marseille overcame Qarabağ to reach the last 16 AFP via Getty Images

Former European champions Marseille take on Swiss opposition for the first time since 2009 as they host Basel in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 tie.

• Marseille came third in UEFA Europa League Group E, behind Galatasaray and Lazio, winning only their final fixture, at home to Lokomotiv Moskva, before sailing through their UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-off against Qarabağ (3-1 h, 3-0 a).

• Basel also beat Qarabağ 3-0 in their last European game, at home on Matchday 6 of UEFA Europa Conference League Group H, to top a section that also included Omonoia and Kairat with 14 points and no defeats.

Highlights: Qarabağ 0-3 Marseille

Previous meetings
• This is the clubs' first encounter in UEFA competition.

• Marseille are unbeaten at home to Swiss visitors (W3 D1) and have won two of their three knockout ties against opposition from the country, both against Young Boys, having lost the first to Sion. Their most recent contests were against FC Zürich in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage, a 1-0 away win followed by a 6-1 victory at the Stade Vélodrome – OM's biggest European win since they overcame CSKA Moskva 6-0 en route to becoming champions of Europe in 1992/93.

• Basel's record against French clubs is W4 D4 L5, but they have never won in France (D2 L3), losing on their last two visits, the most recent 0-3 against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage. In two-legged contests with French teams, however, their record is W3 L1 with victories in the last three, the latest on away goals against Saint-Étienne in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-3 a, 2-1 h).

Marseille vs Basel: the latest from the match

Form guide
• Fifth in last season's Ligue 1, which they completed under current coach Jorge Sampaoli, who arrived in February, Marseille returned to the UEFA Europa League for a fifth appearance in the group stage – a record for a French club – after finishing fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season behind Manchester City, Porto and Olympiacos.

• OM suffered their third UEFA Europa League group stage failure this season, drawing all of their first four fixtures, including twice against Lazio (0-0 a, 2-2 h), before surrendering any chance of further progress when they lost 4-2 at Galatasaray on Matchday 5. A closing 1-0 home win against Lokomotiv confirmed their third-placed finish on seven points – five more than the Russian side. Two Arkadiusz Milik goals then paved their way to a comfortable 6-1 aggregate defeat of Qarabağ in the club’s first UEFA Europa Conference League tie.

• Marseille won eight of their nine matches at the Stade Vélodrome, including all four in the knockout phase, en route to the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League final in Lyon, where they were beaten 3-0 by Atlético de Madrid, but then lost their next five European home games before their current five-game unbeaten run (W3 D2), which includes all four fixtures this season.

• Distant runners-up to Young Boys in the 2020/21 Swiss Super League, Basel also suffered disappointment last season in Europe, the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists going out in the play-offs of the same competition after a 1-3 home defeat by CSKA-Sofia.

• This term Basel made a 17th autumn appearance in a European group stage, their place as Switzerland's sole representatives in the UEFA Europa Conference League proper secured by qualifying phase successes against Partizani, Újpest and, on penalties in the play-offs, Hammarby. Despite long-distance trips to Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Kazakhstan, Basel emerged undefeated from Group H, securing a top-two place after four games and clinching direct round of 16 qualification as section winners with that closing home success against runners-up Qarabağ.

• Basel have lost just one of their last nine European away matches, winning six. They drew their first two Group H games on the road, 0-0 at Qarabağ and 1-1 at Omonoia, before defeating Kairat 3-2 in Almaty.

UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Cédric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan), Sead Kolašinac (Arsenal)
Out: Jordan Amavi (Nice, loan), Luis Henrique

In: Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moskva, loan), Emmanuel Essiam, Albian Hajdari (Juventus, loan), Noah Katterbach (Köln, loan)
Out: Arthur Cabral (Fiorentina), Carmine Chiappetta (Winterthur, loan), Eray Cömert (Valencia), Adrian Durrer (Lugano), Jordi Quintillà (St Gallen), Gonçalo Cardoso (West Ham, end loan), Tician Tushi (Winterthur, loan), Edon Zhegrova (LOSC Lille)

Links and trivia 
• Basel are returning to European action with a new coach, Patrick Rahmen having been dismissed on 21 February and replaced by his assistant, 32-year-old Spaniard Guillermo 'Guille' Abascal.

• French youth and Under-21 international Andy Pelmard is on loan at Basel from Nice, where he has been a senior professional since 2019. Swiss youth international Dan Ndoye is also currently on loan to Basel from Nice, while Serbian defender Strahinja Pavlović is on loan from Monaco.

• Pelmard has played for the French Under-21 side with Marseille's William Saliba and Boubacar Kamara.

• Marseille are one of three former European Cup/UEFA Champions League winners in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 along with Dutch duo Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven.

• Marseille and fellow Ligue 1 side Rennes are the only two of last season's 32 UEFA Champions League participants involved in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16.

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