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Basel intent on achieving Sporting goal

FC Basel 1893 have yet to score against Sporting Clube de Portugal in five previous European encounters, and the Swiss would dearly love to break their duck on matchday five.

Basel are hoping a maiden goal against Sporting will boost their chances
Basel are hoping a maiden goal against Sporting will boost their chances ©Getty Images

FC Basel 1893 and Sporting Clube de Portugal can ill afford to lose as they battle for UEFA Europa League survival in their second Group G meeting.

• Basel will have something to play for on matchday six regardless of this result. Defeat would spell disaster for Sporting, though they could theoretically draw and still make it to the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• Basel arrested a run of four straight defeats against Sporting on matchday one when they earned a 0-0 draw in Lisbon, though their hosts played for much of the second half with ten men following Xandão’s dismissal.

• Basel have still yet to score against Sporting in 450 minutes of competitive football.

• Paulo Bento's Sporting eliminated Christian Gross' Basel from the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 32 and then beat them 2-0 at home and 1-0 away in the UEFA Champions League group stage the following season.

• The teams for their first meeting in Basel on 21 February 2008, a 3-0 away win, were:
Basel: Crayton, Hodel, Majstorovic, Marque, Zanni, Huggel (Malick Ba 46), Carlitos, David Degen*, Ergić (Perović 70), Eduardo (Fabian Frei* 59), Derdiyok.
Sporting: Rui Patrício*, Anderson Polga (Gladstone 55), Tonel, Leandro Grimi (Ronny 68), Abel, Miguel Veloso, Pereirinha*, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Farnerud 60), Rodrigo Tiuí, Liedson.

• The teams for their most recent Basel encounter, a 1-0 Sporting win on 9 December 2008, were:
Basel: Costanzo, Morganella, Huggel, Streller* (Derdiyok 66), Chipperfield (Stocker 46), Fabian Frei* (Perović 78), Safari, Marque, Ergić, Ferati, Carlitos*.
Sporting: Tiago Ferreira, Carriço, Anderson Polga, Izmailov*, Vukčević (Abel Ferreira 45), Derlei, Marco Caneira, Djaló, Pereirinha* (Adrien Silva* 46), Rochemback (Miguel Veloso 73), João Moutinho.

* registered to play for the club in 2012/13.

Match background
• Basel's nine games against Portuguese opponents have ended W1 D3 L5 (W1 D0 L3 at home – W0 D3 L2 in Portugal). That sole win, 2-1, was at home against Guimaraes side Vitória SC in the third qualifying round of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League.

• Including previous games against Basel, Sporting's record in 13 fixtures against Swiss clubs reads W8 D3 L2 (W4 D2 L1 at home – W4 D1 L1 in Switzerland).

• The last club to keep a clean sheet against Basel at St Jakob-Park in a European game were Sporting's Lisbon rivals SL Benfica, who won 2-0 in a 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage game. Basel have scored at least once in their subsequent seven UEFA home fixtures.

• Sporting have gone nine games (D3 L6) without an away win, but last triumphed on the road in Switzerland when they beat FC Zürich 2-0 in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Team facts
• Sporting boast Swiss international talent in the form of defensive midfielder Gelson Fernandes, who was born in Portuguese-speaking Cape Verde but started his footballing career in Switzerland with FC Sion.

• Basel's Phillipp Degen and Sporting's Emiliano Insúa were team-mates at Liverpool FC, playing together at Anfield from 2008–10.

• Basel dismissed German coach Heiko Vogel on 15 October with the club lying fourth in the ten-team Swiss table, immediately installing Murat Yakin as his replacement.

• Murat Yakin, the older brother of fellow former Swiss international Hakan Yakin, represented Grasshopper Club, VfB Stuttgart, Fenerbahçe SK and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. The 49-times capped defender enjoyed his best seasons as captain of Basel, leading them to three league titles and two Swiss Cups. He later coached FC Concordia Basel, FC Thun and FC Luzern.

• Frank Vercauteren has been Sporting coach since 24 October, when he replaced Ricardo Sá Pinto. A UEFA Cup winner as a player with RSC Anderlecht in 1983, Vercauteren led KRC Genk to the 2010/11 Belgian title. The former Belgium coach, who also won back-to-back Belgian championships with Anderlecht between 2005 and 2007, left his last job with Al Jazira Club of the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

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