Already qualified for the last 32, Basel are hoping to wrap up first place in Group C at home to eliminated Trabzonspor.
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Basel go into their final Group C fixture, at home to already-eliminated Turkish side Trabzonspor, knowing that they are already through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 but hoping to progress as section winners.
• The Swiss side's place in the knockout phase was pre-booked after Matchday 4 when they reached ten points by completing the double over Getafe. They fell to their first defeat last time out, 0-1 at Krasnodar, while Trabzonspor were also losing by the same scoreline at home to Getafe – their fourth defeat of the section.
• A win for Basel will guarantee their place as group winners, as will a draw in Spain in the other final Group C fixture between Getafe and Krasnodar.
• Trabzonspor had never previously faced a Swiss club in UEFA competition until they hosted Basel on Matchday 2, claiming their only Group C point to date in a 2-2 draw.
• Basel's experience of Turkish opposition is limited to just four games. Only one of those took place in Switzerland and it was a bittersweet experience as Basel lost 1-2 after extra time to Malatyaspor but ended up winning their 2003/04 UEFA Cup first-round tie 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a first-leg win in Turkey, where, conversely, they have yet to lose in three visits.
• Having won the Swiss Super League eight seasons running from 2009/10 to 2016/17, Basel have finished second to Young Boys in each of the past two campaigns. Last season they missed out on European group stage football for the first time in 15 years, losing to PAOK in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round and Apollon Limassol in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• This season they again missed out on the UEFA Champions League proper, an away-goals success against PSV Eindhoven in the second qualifying round preceding a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Austrian neighbours LASK. That meant a transfer to the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they have competed three times previously, most recently in 2015/16, when they went on to reach the round of 16 before losing to eventual winners Sevilla (0-0 h, 0-3 a). This is the third time in a row that Basel have qualified from their UEFA Europa League group.
• Basel's home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W7 D2 L2, a 5-0 victory against Krasnodar on Matchday 1 being the largest they have posted in the competition at the St. Jakob-Park, qualifying matches included.
• A fourth-placed finish in the 2018/19 Turkish Süper Lig restored European football to Trabzonspor after four years – the club's longest absence from the continental stage since a five-year gap from 1998/99 to 2003/04.
• This season the Black Sea club beat Sparta Praha in the third qualifying round (2-2 a, 2-1 h) before overcoming AEK Athens on away goals in the play-offs (3-1 a, 0-2 h). Unlike this season, their two previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, in 2013/14 and 2014/15, both proved productive, before they fell to heavyweight Italian opposition in the round of 32 – respectively Juventus (0-2 a, 0-2 h) and Napoli (0-4 h, 0-1 a).
• Trabzonspor have an evenly-balanced away record in the UEFA Europa League group stage of W3 D2 L3, although the defeats have all come in their last three fixtures.
Links and trivia
• Edon Zhegrova (Basel) and Donis Avdijaj (Trabzonspor) both play international football for Kosovo.
• Basel's Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Trabzonspor's João Pereira were team-mates at Sporting CP in 2011/12.
• Basel's Swiss-born centre-back Eray Cömert is of Turkish descent.
• Trabzonspor's John Obi Mikel was a member of the Chelsea side beaten home and away by Basel in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Should Basel win this game, it will be the 50th victory recorded by a Swiss club in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• The next European appearance for both Basel’s Van Wolfswinkel and Trabzonspor's Daniel Sturridge will be their 50th.
• A former Swiss international midfielder who won 55 caps between 1982 and his first and last major tournament, EURO '96, Marcel Koller spent his entire club career with Grasshoppers from his native Zurich, winning seven league titles and five domestic cups. Early Swiss title successes as a coach with St Gallen and Grasshoppers were followed by spells in Germany with Köln and Bochum before he took charge of Austria in 2011, eventually leading them to UEFA EURO 2016. He became Basel's head coach in August 2018, winning the Swiss Cup in his debut campaign.
• A former Turkish international midfielder with 36 caps, Ünal Karaman won more than half of those – plus two Turkish Cups – while playing for Trabzonspor from 1990–99. After ending his playing days at Ankaragücü, he joined the Turkish federation's coaching staff and was in charge of the Under-21 side before moving into club football with home-town team Konyaspor. Three years as assistant back at Trabzonspor under Şenol Güneş preceded further roles elsewhere before he returned to the Black Sea club as head coach in May 2018.