A UEFA Cup thriller from the 2000/01 season will be on many minds as FC Basel 1893 host SK Brann with both sides needing a win to seal qualification.
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A UEFA Cup thriller from seven years ago will be on many minds as FC Basel 1893 host SK Brann with both sides needing a win to seal qualification.
• The two sides met in the first round of the 2000/01 UEFA Cup in a high-scoring tie which saw Basel prevail 7-6 on aggregate.
• In the first leg, Feliciano Magro and Jean-Michel Tchouga twice gave Basel the lead only for Per-Ove Ludvigsen and then Thorstein Helstad to hit back for Brann. Olivier Kreuzer then won the tie 3-2 for Basel with an 86th-minute penalty.
• The second leg saw Brann seize the initiative with early goals from Azar Karadas and Geirmund Brendesaeter. Tchouga struck back for Basel, but it was 4-1 by half-time with Sergei Terehhov and Karadas again finding the target.
• However, the second half was to be a calamity for the Bergen side, as a Roy Wassberg own goal and another Kreuzer penalty put Basel back on top in the tie before a late André Muff strike underlined their success.
• Basel coach Christian Gross was in charge for that game, while midfielder Benjamin Huggel – who played in both legs – is back at the club following a two-year spell at Eintracht Frankfurt. Ivan Ergić was on the bench for Basel in both matches and is still at the club.
• Brann coach Mons Ivar Mjelde was still playing for the club in 2000, and came on in the second leg after being an unused substitute in the first.
• Brann goalscorers Karadas and Helstad are also back at Brann. Karadas left the club in 2002 for Rosenborg BK, and went on to play for SL Benfica, Portsmouth FC and 1. FC Kaiserslautern before returning to Bergen this year. Helstad rejoined Brann in 2006, having left in 2002 to play for FK Austria Wien and later Rosenborg.
• Basel have played three games against Norwegian opposition, including those meetings with Brann. A 4-3 win against Tromsø IL in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage means they have won both of their home games against Norwegian sides.
• Including their games against Basel, Brann have played four games against Swiss sides, losing both of their previous matches in Switzerland, while winning and drawing one apiece at home.
• Basel beat Stade Rennais FC 1-0 in their opening game and then drew 0-0 at NK Dinamo Zagreb. They are unbeaten at home in their last 12 European ties.
• Brann lost 1-0 at home against Hamburger SV in their opening game, then drew 1-1 at Rennes and beat Dinamo 2-1 at home. They are unbeaten in their last six European away games, winning four and drawing two.
• Brann defender Hassan El-Fakiri is serving the second game of a two-match ban for a red card picked up in the draw against Rennes.
• Basel have made their first winter signing, with Switzerland Under-21 defender Beg Ferati set to arrive from neighbours FC Concordia Basel when the transfer window opens.
• Dinamo are at home against Hamburg in Wednesday's other Group D game.