Trabzonspor welcome Basel seeking their first Group C points, while their Swiss visitors will be hoping to build on a big win in their opening fixture.
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Trabzonspor welcome Basel to the banks of the Black Sea, the Turkish side seeking their first points in Group C while their Swiss visitors will be hoping to build on a big win in their opening fixture.
• While Trabzonspor kicked off their first European campaign since 2015/16 with a 1-0 defeat at Getafe, Basel not only scored the first goal of this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, through Kevin Bua's ninth-minute strike, but added four more to beat 5-0 Krasnodar and register their biggest win in the competition.
• Trabzonspor have never previously faced a Swiss club in UEFA competition.
• Basel's experience of Turkish opposition is limited to just three games. Two of those were in Turkey, both of which they won – 5-2 against Antalyaspor in the 1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup and 2-0 at Malatyaspor in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round.
• A fourth-placed finish in the 2018/19 Turkish Süper Lig restored European football to Trabzonspor after four years – the club's longest absence from the continental stage since a five-year gap from 1998/99 to 2003/04.
• This season the Black Sea club beat Sparta Praha in the third qualifying round (2-2 a, 2-1 h) before overcoming AEK Athens on away goals in the play-offs (3-1 a, 0-2 h). Their two previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, in 2013/14 and 2014/15, both proved productive before they fell to heavyweight Italian opposition in the round of 32 – respectively Juventus (0-2 a, 0-2 h) and Napoli (0-4 h, 0-1 a).
• Trabzonspor have a positive home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage of W4 D1 L1, with wins in each of the last two games. Their sole defeat, 0-1 against Legia Warszawa in 2014/15, did however occur on matchday two.
• 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 missed out on European group stage football for the first time in 15 years, losing to PAOK in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round and Apollon Limassol in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• This season they again missed out on the UEFA Champions League proper, an impressive away-goals success against PSV Eindhoven in the second qualifying round preceding a surprise 5-2 aggregate defeat to Austrian neighbours LASK. That meant a transfer to the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they have competed three times previously, most recently in 2015/16, when they went on to reach the round of 16.
• The 2012/13 semi-finalists have lost four of their last five European away games, including both this season, but they won all three of their group fixtures outside Switzerland in 2015/16 and were winners on the road three times out of four in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League, prevailing at CSKA Moskva (2-0), Benfica (2-0) and Manchester City (2-1) after a matchday one defeat at Manchester United (0-3).
Links and trivia
• Donis Avdijaj (Trabzonspor) and Edon Zhegrova (Basel) both play international football for Kosovo.
• Trabzonspor's João Pereira and Basel's Ricky van Wolfswinkel were team-mates at Sporting CP in 2011/12.
• Basel's Swiss-born centre-back Eray Cömert is of Turkish descent.
• Trabzonspor's John Obi Mikel was a member of the Chelsea side beaten home and away by Basel in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• This is Basel's 50th match in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying phase included.
• A former Turkish international midfielder with 36 caps, Ünal Karaman won more than half of those – plus two Turkish Cups – while playing for Trabzonspor from 1990–99. After ending his playing days at Ankaragücü, he joined the Turkish federation's coaching staff and was in charge of the Under-21 side before moving into club football with home-town team Konyaspor. Three years as assistant back at Trabzonspor under Şenol Güneş preceded further roles elsewhere before he returned to the Black Sea club as head coach in May 2018.
• 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.