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Basel v APOEL facts

Basel will feel they have one foot already in the round of 16 as they protect a 3-0 advantage over APOEL in front of their own fans at the St. Jakob-Park.

Comprehensive first-leg victors in Cyprus, Basel will feel they have one foot already in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 as they protect a 3-0 advantage over APOEL in front of their own fans at the St. Jakob-Park.

• Basel clinched qualification for the round of 32 with two games to spare after doing the double over fellow Group C qualifiers Getafe, eventually topping the section with 13 points. APOEL came through Group A, finishing second to runaway section winners Sevilla thanks to a remarkable recovery that brought them ten points from their final four fixtures after defeats in the opening two.

Previous meetings
• Basel's biggest away win in the UEFA Europa League was secured in the first leg in Nicosia with unanswered goals from Raoul Petretta, Valentin Stocker and Arthur Cabral. The 0-3 defeat was also APOEL's joint-heaviest at home in this competition.

• Basel have unhappy memories of their only previous tie against a club from Cyprus, Apollon Limassol knocking them out of last season's UEFA Europa League play-off on away goals (3-3 on aggregate) to deny the Swiss club European group stage participation for the first time in 15 years.

• APOEL's two previous UEFA competition encounters in Switzerland have both ended in 1-3 defeats, most recently against Young Boys in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage; they won the return fixture 1-0 a fortnight later, however, and went on to reach the round of 16.

Form guide
• Having won the Swiss Super League eight seasons running from 2009/10 to 2016/17, Basel have finished second to Young Boys in each of the past two campaigns. Last season they were eliminated from both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League in the qualifying phase.

• This season they again missed out on the UEFA Champions League proper, an away-goals success against PSV Eindhoven in the second qualifying round preceding a 5-2 aggregate defeat by LASK. That meant a transfer to the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they opened with a 5-0 home win against Krasnodar, then drew 2-2 at Trabzonspor before beating Getafe 1-0 in Spain and 2-1 in Switzerland to ensure premature qualification.

• This is Basel's fifth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase. Although they lost in the round of 32 against Spartak Moskva in 2010/11 (2-3 h, 1-1 a), they have succeeded in each of their three subsequent attempts at qualifying from this stage of the competition – against Dnipro in 2012/13 (2-0 h, 1-1 a), Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2013/14 (0-0 a, 3-0 h) and Saint-Étienne in 2015/16 (2-3 a, 2-1 h). Their best campaign was in 2012/13 when they reached the semi-finals.

• Victorious in their last three round of 32 home fixtures, Basel's overall record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase at the St. Jakob-Park is W5 D3 L2. They also won all three group games there during the autumn, stretching their unbeaten home run in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included, to eight matches (W6 D2)

• Basel have won 11 of the 12 UEFA ties in which they were triumphant on the road in the first leg, the most recent in last season's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round when they won both legs 1-0 against Dutch side Vitesse. The sole aggregate defeat came on away goals against Hamburg in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round (1-0 a, 2-3 h). This is the first time that they have posted a 3-0 away win in the first leg of a European tie.

• Cypriot champions a record 28 times, APOEL made it seven national titles in a row with last season's triumph, which came at the end of a campaign in which they were absent from Europe in the autumn for the first time in six years having lost their UEFA Europa League play-off against Astana on penalties.

• This season, having comfortably eliminated Montenegro's Sutjeska in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, APOEL ensured a return to European group stage football with a 3-2 aggregate success against future Group A rivals Qarabağ. They were then defeated 2-0 on aggregate by Ajax in the play-offs to move into the UEFA Europa League, where they lost their opening game 3-4 at home to Dudelange of Luxembourg but progressively improved over the course of the next five matches, clinching qualification with a 1-0 home win against Sevilla.

• APOEL failed to reach the knockout phase in their first two UEFA Europa League group participations (in 2013/14 and 2015/16) but made it to the last 16 in 2016/17 thanks to a momentous round of 32 success against Athletic Club of Spain (2-3 a, 2-0 h).

• APOEL have won just two of 14 away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League proper, though they ended a five-match losing streak with a 2-2 draw at Qarabağ on Matchday 3 before winning 2-0 at Dudelange on Matchday 5. Their only four previous European away fixtures in the spring have all ended in defeat – against Lyon (0-1) and Real Madrid (2-5) in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League and Athletic and Anderlecht (0-1) in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League.

• Earlier this season APOEL made club history by winning a UEFA competition tie in which they lost the first leg at home for the first time, overcoming Qarabağ 2-0 in Azerbaijan after a 1-2 defeat in Nicosia to qualify from the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. In all 12 instances prior to that the Cypriot club had been eliminated after falling to a home defeat in the first leg, including two ties after 0-3 scorelines in Nicosia, the first of them against Swiss club Servette in the first round of the 1984/85 European Cup Winners' Cup.

UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Orges Bunjaku*, Jasper van der Werff (Salzburg, loan)
Out: Konstantinos Dimitriou (Wil, loan), Yves Kaiser, Noah Okafor
*B List

In: Mike Jensen (Rosenborg), Stelios Karapatakis*, Björn Sigurdarsson (Rostov, loan), Georgios Theodoulidis *, Christos Wheeler (AEL Limassol)
Out: Roman Bezjak, Savvas Gentsoglou (Al-Adalah), Joãozinho (Estoril)
*B List

Links and trivia 
• Dragan Mihajlovic is a Swiss national who played in his homeland for Bellinzona, Chiasso and Lugano before joining APOEL in 2019. He played youth football for Switzerland alongside Basel's Taulant Xhaka and Luca Zuffi.

• Basel midfielder Stocker scored eight minutes into his international debut for Switzerland against Cyprus on 20 August 2008 – a 4–1 friendly win in Geneva in which APOEL's Stathis Aloneftis featured for the opposing side.

• Both Basel and APOEL currently occupy third place in their domestic leagues five points behind the leaders.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Basel's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L0:
4-1 v Tottenham Hotspur, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League quarter-final

• APOEL's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
4-3 v Lyon, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16
1-2 v Astana, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League play-off

The coaches
• A former Swiss international midfielder who won 55 caps between 1982 and his first and last major tournament, EURO '96, Marcel Koller spent his entire club career with Grasshoppers from his native Zurich, winning seven league titles and five domestic cups. Early Swiss title successes as a coach with St Gallen and Grasshoppers were followed by spells in Germany with Köln and Bochum before he took charge of Austria in 2011, eventually leading them to UEFA EURO 2016. He became Basel's head coach in August 2018, winning the Swiss Cup in his debut campaign.

• Marinos Ouzounidis was appointed as APOEL head coach on 12 February, succeeding Kåre Ingebrigtsen, who had replaced Thomas Doll only in late December. Ouzounidis thus returned to the club where he had won the Cypriot league both as a player (2001/02) and in his first season as a head coach (2006/07). A former central defender who starred in the mid-1990s for a successful Panathinaikos side and won 50 caps for Greece, he has coached a number of clubs in his homeland, most recently Panathinaikos and, in 2018/19, AEK Athens, whom he steered into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.