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In-form Udinese set for Young Boys test

Udinese Calcio have lost just once in their last eight European encounters and will be hopeful of improving on that record when they travel to BSC Young Boys in UEFA Europa League Group A.

Udinese are a formidable proposition in Europe
Udinese are a formidable proposition in Europe ©Getty Images

BSC Young Boys will hope to avoid giving a couple of birthday boys something to celebrate at the Stade de Suisse as Udinese Calcio head to Switzerland for the first time.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time. This is Young Boys' first game against an Italian side and Udinese's maiden encounter with Swiss opponents.

• Serie A teams have had the better of it in the 46 UEFA club competition games between Italian and Swiss sides, boasting the record: W24 D13 L9 (W16 D3 L4 in Italy – W8 D10 L5 in Switzerland).

• Italian clubs are unbeaten in their last six matches against their Swiss counterparts (W3 D3) since FC Basel 1893 won 3-1 at AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League on 19 October 2010.

Match background
• Group A has had more goals after two matchdays than any other section: 17 – an average of over four per fixture.

• Young Boys are on a three-game losing streak in Europe, including their last two UEFA Europa League home engagements.

• Udinese are unbeaten in three matches in the competition (two wins) and have lost just once in their last eight UEFA Europa League encounters – a 2-0 defeat at AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of their round of 16 tie on 8 March 2012.

Team facts
• Young Boys and Swedish side AIK have conceded seven goals in their two group stage games – more than any other sides in the competition this season.

• Udinese goalkeeper Daniele Padelli (27) and defender Marco Faraoni (21) celebrate birthdays on the day of the game.

• Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale might prefer to forget about his last visit to the Stade de Suisse – he was a starter in the Italy side that lost 3-0 to the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Young Boys defender Alain Nef played for Udinese from 2008-10, following a spell at Piacenza FC, but made just three Serie A appearances for the club, spending much of his time with the Zebrette on loan at RC Recreativo de Huelva and US Triestina Calcio. He left Udinese for Young Boys in 2010.

• Nef and Udinese's Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Badu were team-mates at Recreativo in 2009, and midfielder Andrea Lazzari played with him while on loan at Piacenza in 2007.

• Young Boys goalkeeper Ivan Benito also played in Italy from 2003-06, representing AC Pistoiese and SS Juve Stabia.

• Capped five times by Switzerland, Young Boys coach Martin Rueda was a defender for Grasshopper-Club, FC Wettingen 93, FC Luzern and Neuchâtel Xamax FC before moving into coaching. He took charge of Young Boys in 2012 following a two-year spell with FC Lausanne-Sport, in which his side reached the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin was once an Italy Under-21 midfielder and has played for – and coached – a large number of Italian clubs. He took charge of Udinese for a second time in 2010, matching a club-best third-place finish in Serie A in 2011/12. He briefly coached outside Italy with AS Monaco FC in 2005/06.

• This is FARE Action Week, with UEFA giving its support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign. There are activities before each UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums and millions on television. A 30-second RESPECT TV spot and announcements over stadium loudspeakers will encourage fans to join the UEFA family in its call to unite against racism in football. Every team will be accompanied on to the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts and captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism armband.

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