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Basel's home strength faces Valencia challenge

FC Basel 1893 do not concede at home, and Valencia CF are on a five-game winning streak away from home in Europe as the sides meet in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

Basel coach Murat Yakin (right) played in both of the club's 2002 encounters with Valencia
Basel coach Murat Yakin (right) played in both of the club's 2002 encounters with Valencia ©AFP/Getty Images

Murat Yakin came up against Valencia CF as a player with FC Basel 1893 over a decade ago, and now renews acquaintance with the Spanish club as the sides meet again in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

Previous meetings
• Rafael Benítez's Valencia got the better of Christian Gross's Basel over the course of two games in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions league first group stage; John Carew scored twice as Valencia won the home match 6-2, but his side then drew 2-2 in Basel, Ivan Ergić levelling after Valencia's Roberto Ayala had been dismissed on 88 minutes.

• The teams at St. Jakob-Park on 22 October 2002 were:
Basel: Zuberbühler, Zwyssig, Esposito (Koumantarakis 85), Varela (Rossi 65), H Yakin, Giménez (Tum), M Yakin, Duruz, Cantaluppi, Haas, Ergić.
Valencia: Cañizares, Pellegrino, Fábio Aurélio, Ayala, Baraja (Marchena 76), Juan Sánchez (Carew 80), Kily González, Rufete (Angulo 71), Mista, De los Santos, Curro Torres.

• Now Basel coach, Yakin captained the Swiss club in both of those fixtures.

• The sides also met in the second round of the 1965/66 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League – Valencia winning 3-1 in Switzerland and 5-1 in Spain.

Match background
• Basel are unbeaten in their last four games (W2 D2) since transferring from the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League, and are undefeated in their last four European home games (W2 D2). They have not conceded in three continental fixtures at St. Jakob-Park.

• Having lost to Celtic FC in the 1973/74 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final, and to Middlesbrough FC at the same stage of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup, Basel won a UEFA last-eight tie at the third time of asking last season, beating Tottenham Hotspur FC on penalties en route to a semi-final loss to Chelsea FC.

• Valencia are unbeaten in nine European games (W7 D2) since opening their group stage campaign with a 3-0 home loss to Swansea City AFC. They have won all five of their UEFA Europa League away games this season, and are unbeaten on the road in eight UEFA matches (W7 D1) since a 2-1 loss at FC Bayern München on matchday one of last season's UEFA Champions League.

• Valencia's 1-0 home win against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad in the round of 16 gave them a record-equalling fourth UEFA Europa League clean sheet in a row, enabling them to join five other clubs on that total. They are only the second club to keep opponents out for four successive UEFA Europa League knockout games, equalling Newcastle United FC's feat in 2012/13.

• Since beating Olympique de Marseille 2-0 in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup final Valencia have reached three UEFA quarter-finals; they lost to Chelsea FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League and Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, but beat AZ Alkmaar in this competition in 2011/12 – before losing to Atlético in the semi-finals.

Team facts
• Giovanni Sio is the only Basel player with Liga experience, having represented Real Sociedad de Fútbol from 2007 to 2009 before moving to Switzerland to join FC Sion.

• Valencia boast Swiss talent in the form of central defender Philippe Senderos, who started his career with Servette FC (2001-03) before heading abroad. "I'm looking forward to playing against Philippe Senderos," said Basel striker Marco Streller after the draw.

• Basel are one of three sides in the quarter-finals who have yet to win a major UEFA club trophy along with AZ and Olympique Lyonnais. Basel lost to Aston Villa FC over two legs in one of the three 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup finals.

• They are one of three domestic champions remaining in the competition, along with FC Porto and Juventus.

• Marco Streller has scored 23 goals in UEFA club competition, more than any other player in the quarter-finals.

• Valencia (2004) are one of four previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League winners in the quarter-finals along with Porto (2003, 2011), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

• Valencia have scored the most goals (18), had the most attempts on (55) and off target (67) and won the most games since the start of this season's group stage (7) of the eight quarter-finalists. FC Salzburg – eliminated in the round of 16 – are the current leaders in all four of those categories with 22 goals, 75 shots on target and 71 off, and eight wins.

• Valencia have been shown the most red cards (three) of any side left in the competition.

• Valencia's Fede Cartabia has been fouled 28 times since the start of the group stage, more than any player still involved.

• Valencia's Pablo Alcácer and Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro are the highest scoring players left in the competition, with four goals each since the start of the group stage – four fewer than the overall top scorer, Salzburg's Jonatan Soriano.

• The UEFA Europa League's two most successful member associations, Spain and Portugal, boast two surviving clubs apiece, with Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and France taking one club through.

Coach information
• Capped 49 times as a central defender by Switzerland, coach Murat Yakin was born in Basel but started his playing career with Grasshopper Club. He played for VfB Stuttgart and Fenerbahçe SK, but finished his career at Basel – where his brother Hakan Yakin also played. He got his first senior coaching appointment in 2009, leading FC Thun and later FC Luzern before taking charge of Basel and leading them to the 2012/13 Swiss title – his sixth in total following five triumphs as a player.

• Valencia dismissed Miroslav Djukić in December after six months at the helm.

• Juan Antonio Pizzi is now in charge at Valencia, having returned to Spain – for whom he made 22 international appearances – after establishing himself as a coach in South America. Born in Argentina, the striker played for CD Tenerife and Valencia before winning a title, two Spanish Cups and the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona. Following spells with Porto and Villarreal CF, he hung up his boots in 2002, and briefly played polo.

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