The Arena AufSchalke is the venue as Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel return to Germany having both eliminated Bundesliga clubs in the last 16.
The Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen is the venue as Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel return to Germany for their UEFA Europa League quarter-final having both eliminated Bundesliga clubs in the previous round.
• Shakhtar entered this season's UEFA Champions League at the group stage, but their hopes of prolonging the campaign into the spring were dashed by a closing 0-3 home defeat by Atalanta, who thus pipped them to the runners-up spot behind Manchester City. Benfica, who had also moved across from the UEFA Champions League, were then overcome in the round of 32 (2-1 h, 3-3 a) before the Ukrainian champions won both of their round of 16 matches against Wolfsburg, scoring three late goals in Kyiv to add a 3-0 home victory to their earlier 2-1 success in Germany.
• 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. It has also been plain sailing for the Swiss side in the knockout phase, with Cypriot champions APOEL defeated 3-0 away and 1-0 at home and last season's semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt subsequently overcome by the same 4-0 aggregate, a second-leg 1-0 success at home supplementing a 3-0 first-leg win in Germany.
• The clubs first met in the 1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup, drawing a group game 2-2 in Basel, before Shakhtar twice got the better of their Swiss opponents in the group stage of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League, winning 2-1 away and 5-0 at home in Donetsk, with Andriy Pyatov appearing in both games for the Ukrainian side and Valentin Stocker and Fabian Frei involved for Basel. Although Shakhtar failed to reach the knockout phase, they crossed over to the UEFA Cup, which they went on to win, defeating Werder Bremen 2-1 in the Istanbul final.
• Shakhtar's 11 matches against Swiss opponents have yielded seven wins, including five out of five in Ukraine. They have won two and lost two of their four knockout ties with Swiss clubs, losing the most recent on penalties to Young Boys in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after a pair of 2-0 home wins.
• Basel's only other games against Ukrainian opposition brought a 3-1 aggregate success against Dnipro in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-0 h, 1-1 a), with Stocker opening the scoring in the first leg. Basel went on to reach the semi-finals.
• Shakhtar won the Ukrainian league in 2018/19, claiming the title for the 12th time and also completing a domestic double for the third season in a row, which gave them a third successive appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage – and 14th in all.
• The Pitmen picked up just one victory in the group stage this season, 2-1 at Atalanta with an added-time winner on Matchday 2. They then drew three games in succession, two against Dinamo Zagreb (2-2 h, 3-3 a) and the third, 1-1, away to a Manchester City side who had beaten them 3-0 in Kharkiv on Matchday 1. They ended the section with that home defeat by Atalanta, thus securing a fourth UEFA Europa League knockout phase berth in five seasons.
• The elimination of Benfica put Shakhtar into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the second time, and they made it two victories out of two at that stage with their triumph against Wolfsburg. Their one previous UEFA Europa League quarter-final also proved victorious as Braga were swept aside 6-1 on aggregate (2-1 a, 4-0 h) in 2015/16.
• Shakhtar have won five of their 12 UEFA matches in Germany (D1 L6), including both previous games in Gelsenkirchen, beating Schalke 1-0 in the third round of the 2004/05 UEFA Cup and 3-0 in the 2015/16 round of 32 second leg, with Marlos and Viktor Kovalenko both finding the net for the visitors.
• Having won the Swiss Super League eight seasons running from 2009/10 to 2016/17, Basel finished second to Young Boys in each of the next two campaigns. In 2018/19 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 an early qualification.
• Basel's victories against APOEL and Frankfurt have taken them into the last eight of the UEFA Europa League for the third time following back-to-back qualifications in 2012/13 and 2013/14. In the first of those quarter-finals they overcame Tottenham Hotspur on penalties after two 2-2 draws but lost the second of them, to Valencia a year later, going out in extra time as the Spanish side recovered from a 3-0 defeat in Switzerland to win 5-0 at Mestalla in what remains the biggest second-leg comeback in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase.
• Basel's overall record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W10 D7 L7, with four wins out of four this term, eight goals scored and none conceded.
Links and trivia
• Shakhtar's Yevhen Konoplyanka played in Gelsenkirchen for Schalke from 2016–19.
• Shakhtar are one of three UEFA Champions League group stage participants to have reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, along with Bayer Leverkusen and Internazionale.
• Basel's 1-0 win against Frankfurt last time out was their fifth successive clean sheet in the UEFA Europa League, equalling a competition record that they share with five other clubs – Arsenal, Manchester United, Napoli, Salzburg and Villarreal.
• Basel striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel came off the bench to make his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition in the home win against Frankfurt. It was the Dutchman's first taste of UEFA Europa League action this season due to a long lay-off following head surgery.
• Shakhtar retained the Ukrainian Premier League title with a landslide triumph in 2019/20, finishing 23 points above second-placed Dynamo Kyiv.
• Basel finished third in the 2019/20 Swiss Super League behind champions Young Boys and runners-up St Gallen.
• Shakhtar's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
1-4 v Club Brugge, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
2-4 v Young Boys, 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
• Basel's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
4-1 v Tottenham Hotspur, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League quarter-final
• Appointed Shakhtar Donetsk head coach in June 2019, Luís Castro replaced his compatriot Paulo Fonseca – a move he had also previously made back in 2014 when he stepped in as an interim replacement for the current Roma boss at Porto. A right-back, he spent most of his 17-year playing career in the lower leagues, and he also made a relatively discreet start in coaching before joining top-flight Penafiel in 2004. He was on Porto's coaching staff for a decade (2006–16) before spending one season apiece as the head coach of Rio Ave, Chaves and Vitória SC.
• A former Swiss international midfielder who won 55 caps between 1982 and his first and last major tournament, EURO '96, 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.