Having both lost in UEFA Champions League qualifying, Porto and Young Boys meet for the first time to open Group G.
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Porto and Young Boys meet for the first time in UEFA competition to open a highly competitive UEFA Europa League Group G, the two clubs having both crossed over to the competition after losing their opening European ties of the 2019/20 season in the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase.
• Porto are undefeated at home to Swiss opponents, winning three of their four matches. Their last such encounter at the Estádio do Dragão was a 4-0 defeat of Basel in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16, which took them into the quarter-finals following a 1-1 first-leg draw.
• Young Boys' experience of Portuguese opposition is limited to a 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-off that they lost to Braga on away goals (0-0 a, 2-2 h).
• Domestic runners-up in league and cup last season – to Benfica and Sporting CP respectively – Porto also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were beaten by eventual winners Liverpool (0-2 a, 1-4 h).
• The Dragons' bid to return to the UEFA Champions League group stage this term – for a record-equalling 24th time – ended in the third qualifying round when they lost on away goals to Russian debutants Krasnodar, winning the first leg in Russia 1-0 but losing the home return 2-3 after being three goals down at half-time. That defeat sent them directly into the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they have competed just once before – in 2010/11, when they won the trophy.
• Since that 2010/11 triumph Porto have played ten matches in the competition – all in the knockout phase – and have won only two, losing five. Their UEFA Europa League group stage record, however, is W5 D1.
• Champions of Switzerland for the 13th time in 2018/19, having claimed their first league title in 32 years 12 months earlier, Young Boys also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time, finishing bottom of a section in which they competed with Juventus, Manchester United and Valencia.
• Having defeated Dinamo Zagreb in last season's UEFA Champions League play-off, YB were unable to stage an encore this term, losing on away goals to Serbian champions Crvena zvezda (2-2 h, 1-1 a). They are therefore competing instead for the sixth time in the UEFA Europa League group stage. Twice before they have made further progress, in 2010/11 and 2014/15, but they have been unsuccessful in their two most recent participations, in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
• The Berne club have won just one of their last 18 European away games – in Zagreb last season – and their record on the road in the UEFA Europa League proper is W2 D5 L10.
Links and trivia
• Young Boys' Miralem Sulejmani played for Porto's rivals Benfica between 2013 and 2015, winning two Portuguese titles.
• Saidy Janko signed for Porto ahead of the 2018/19 season but has not yet played an official match for the Dragons and is on loan this term at Young Boys.
• Porto are one of three clubs to have won the UEFA Europa League on their debut appearance, the others being Atlético Madrid in the inaugural 2009/10 competition and Chelsea in 2012/13.
• Porto are one of three former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's group stage, along with Sevilla and Manchester United. They are also one of four Portuguese clubs involved – the most of any single nation in 2019/20.
• A Portuguese international winger of some repute who scored 12 goals in 56 appearances for his country including a memorable hat-trick against holders Germany in a 3-0 win at UEFA EURO 2000, Sérgio Conceição played for a variety of clubs, winning Serie A with Lazio and three Portuguese Liga titles in two spells with Porto, where he was appointed as head coach in June 2017, replacing Nuno Espírito Santo following a promising stint in France with Nantes. He led Porto to another league title in 2017/18 and the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals the following season.
• Appointed by Young Boys as the successor to Adi Hütter in July 2018, Gerardo Seoane emulated his Austrian predecessor by steering the Berne club to the Swiss Super League title. He also oversaw YB's debut UEFA Champions League campaign, which ended with a home win against Juventus. The former midfielder has a close and lengthy association with his local club Luzern, with whom he started and ended his playing career and also came through the coaching ranks, eventually replacing Markus Babbel as head coach in January 2018.