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St-Étienne v Basel background

Unbeaten away from home in Europe this season, Basel make the 350km journey to Saint-Etienne with an eye on the UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium.

Romain Hamouma is one of four St-Étienne players who scored two goals in the group stage
Romain Hamouma is one of four St-Étienne players who scored two goals in the group stage ©AFP/Getty Images

AS Saint-Étienne will try to prevent FC Basel 1893 playing in the 2016 UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium as the sides come together in the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

• St-Étienne have drawn both of their previous home games against Swiss clubs, with their overall record against Swiss opponents W1 D2 L1 (W0 D2 L0 at home – W1 D0 L1 in Switzerland).

• Basel's record in nine matches against French opponents is W3 D4 L2 (W3 D2 L1 at home – W0 D2 L1 in France).

Form guide
• St-Étienne are unbeaten in four European games (W2 D2) and in their last four UEFA home fixtures (also W2 D2).

• Basel are undefeated away from home in Europe this season: W4 D1.

• St-Étienne were last in the round of 32 in 2008/09, when they eliminated Olympiacos FC en route to a round of 16 loss to Werder Bremen. The nearest they have come to winning this competition was reaching the quarter-finals in successive seasons, in 1979/80 and 1980/81.

• Basel most recently played in the round of 32 in 2013/14, when they battled through to the last eight. Their best campaign in this competition was in 2012/13, when they progressed to the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Chelsea FC.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Basel to Saint-Etienne is around 350km – the shortest trip for any of the teams playing in the round of 32.

• The 2016 UEFA Europa League final will be held at Basel's St. Jakob-Park on 18 May. Two teams have played one-legged finals in their own stadium in this competition – Feyenoord beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the 2002 showpiece in Rotterdam, but Sporting Clube de Portugal lost 3-1 to PFC CSKA Moskva in the 2005 decider at their Estadio José Alvalade.

• Basel are one of five sides in the round of 32 who qualified for Europe this season as domestic champions along with Galatasaray AŞ (Turkey), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), Molde FK (Norway) and Olympiacos FC (Greece), though Molde have since lost their title to Rosenborg BK.

• St-Étienne are one of four clubs to have made it all the way from the third qualifying round to the last 32 this term, along with Athletic Club, Borussia Dortmund and FC Krasnodar.

• St-Étienne forward Robert Berić was a striker at NK Interblock in his native Slovenia while Basel counterpart Andraž Šporar was coming through the club's youth ranks.

• Basel goalkeeper Germano Vailati briefly played in France for FC Metz in 2009.

The coaches
• St-Étienne coach since 2009, Christophe Galtier led Les Verts to French League Cup success in 2012/13. A defender, he started his playing career at home-town club Olympique de Marseille. He returned to Marseille as a coach and worked as assistant to Alain Perrin at St-Étienne before getting the senior job.

• Urs Fischer took charge of Basel this summer following Paulo Sousa's move to ACF Fiorentina. The former FC Zürich defender has already led Zürich (2011/12) and FC Thun (2013/14) into the UEFA Europa League group stage, but this is the first time he has taken a team to the knockout phase.