UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Army Men on the brink in Basel

A 2-0 win in Sofia sent FC Basel 1893 to the top of Group E, and should another defeat for PFC CSKA Sofia coincide with a win for Fulham FC at AS Roma, the Army Men's UEFA Europa League campaign will be over.

Army Men on the brink in Basel
Army Men on the brink in Basel ©UEFA.com

A 2-0 win in Sofia on 22 October sent FC Basel 1893 to the top of the Group E table, and should another defeat for PFC CSKA Sofia coincide with a win for Fulham FC at AS Roma, the Army Men will be out of contention for a UEFA Europa League knockout phase place.

Previous meetings
• The sides had never met prior to Matchday 3, which was also Basel's first game against Bulgarian opposition. CSKA's two previous visits to Switzerland both ended in defeat.

Match background
• Basel have won their last four European home games since losing 1-0 at home to Sporting Clube de Portugal in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage. That winning streak has seen them score 13 goals and concede just two.

Team facts
• Basel changed coach this summer, with Christian Gross leaving after ten seasons to be replaced by former FC Bayern München midfielder Thorsten Fink. Fink started his coaching career with FC Salzburg's amateur side and took command at Basel following a spell in charge of German lower-league outfit FC Ingolstadt 04.

• CSKA are coached by Luboslav Penev, who replaced his uncle – iconic ex-Bulgaria coach Dimitar Penev – in February. The 43-year-old former striker played alongside Hristo Stoichkov at CSKA in the late 1980s and went on to shine in Spain, representing Valencia CF and winning a Spanish domestic double with Club Atlético de Madrid in 1995/96.

• This will be CSKA's 200th game in UEFA club competition.

• CSKA's next goal will be their 300th in UEFA club competition.

• First-choice Basel goalkeeper and team captain Franco Costanzo will miss the remainder of the group stage after undergoing surgery to resolve a long-term knee problem. "I've been playing in pain for over 18 months," the 29-year-old said. He has been replaced by Stefan Wessels in the Swiss club's squad.

• Switzerland and Bulgaria have met in eight senior internationals, with the former winning three, drawing three and losing two. Their most recent encounter was in February this year, a 1-1 draw in Geneva.

• CSKA coach Penev appeared in two of those meetings – a 3-2 UEFA European Championship home qualifying defeat for Bulgaria in 1991 and a 2-0 friendly triumph in Berne the following year.

• Basel's Marco Streller was ruled offside more than any other player in the opening three games, with the flag being raised on nine occasions.

• Streller and CSKA midfielder Ivan Stoyanov were team-mates at VfB Stuttgart from 2004 to 2006.

• CSKA visit Fulham on Matchday 5 while Basel travel to Roma on the same day, 3 December.