This UEFA Europa League Conference League round of 16 tie is finely poised as Marseille visit Basel for the second leg with a slender lead.
• Basel topped UEFA Europa Conference League Group H in the autumn, finishing ahead of Qarabağ, Omonoia and Kairat with 14 points and no defeats.
• Marseille came third in UEFA Europa League Group E, behind Galatasaray and Lazio, winning only their final fixture, at home to Lokomotiv Moskva, before sailing through their UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-off against Qarabağ (3-1 h, 3-0 a).
• The clubs met for the first time in UEFA competition on 10 March. A second double in successive European home games from Arkadiusz Milik looked to have given Marseille a telling advantage until Basel’s Sebastiano Esposito made the final score 2-1 with a smart finish 12 minutes from time.
• Basel’s record against French clubs is W4 D4 L6, all four victories having come in Switzerland, though they were defeated in the most recent home fixture, 2-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage. In two-legged contests with French teams Basel’s record is W3 L1 with victories in the last three, the latest on away goals against Saint-Étienne in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-3 a, 2-1 h).
• Marseille have won two of their three knockout ties against opposition from Switzerland, both against Young Boys, having lost the first to Sion. Their most recent contest before this one was against FC Zürich in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage, a 1-0 away win making their record in the country W2 D1 L1 with no defeats in the last three visits.
• Distant runners-up to Young Boys in the 2020/21 Swiss Super League, Basel also suffered disappointment last season in Europe, the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists going out in the play-offs of the same competition after a 1-3 home defeat by CSKA-Sofia.
• This term Basel made a 17th autumn appearance in a European group stage, their place as Switzerland’s sole representatives in the UEFA Europa Conference League proper secured by qualifying phase successes against Partizani, Újpest and, on penalties in the play-offs, Hammarby. Despite long-distance trips to Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Kazakhstan, Basel emerged undefeated from Group H, securing a top-two place after four games and clinching direct round of 16 qualification as section winners with a closing 3-0 home victory against runners-up Qarabağ.
• That Matchday 6 success made it 12 wins in Basel’s last 13 European home games, the exception that last season’s by CSKA-Sofia. They have struck 20 goals in their six UEFA Europa Conference League victories at St. Jakob-Park, ten of them in the group stage, where they overcame both Kairat (4-2) and Omonoia (3-1) before seeing off Qarabağ.
• Basel have won six of the ten previous UEFA ties in which they lost the first away leg, most recently overturning a 3-2 defeat at PSV Eindhoven in the second qualifying round of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League (2-1 h, won on away goals). Their record after losing 2-1 is W1 L1, the defeat coming in the most recent instance, against PAOK in the second qualifying round of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League (0-3 h).
• Fifth in last season’s Ligue 1, which they completed under current coach Jorge Sampaoli, who arrived in February, Marseille returned to the UEFA Europa League for a fifth appearance in the group stage – a record for a French club – after finishing fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season behind Manchester City, Porto and Olympiacos.
• OM suffered their third UEFA Europa League group stage failure this season, drawing all of their first four fixtures, including twice against Lazio (0-0 a, 2-2 h), before surrendering any chance of further progress when they lost 4-2 at Galatasaray on Matchday 5. A closing 1-0 home win against Lokomotiv confirmed their third-placed finish on seven points – five more than the Russian side side – before they registered a comfortable 6-1 aggregate defeat of Qarabağ in the club’s first UEFA Europa Conference League tie.
• Marseille ended a run of 11 European away games without a win (D3 L8) with their 3-0 win at Qarabağ last time out – their first on the road since beating Athletic Club 2-1 in Bilbao in the second leg of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 16. The win in Baku was also just the second in OM’s last ten European away games during the spring (D2 L6).
• Marseille have won 16 of the 22 UEFA competition ties in which they have claimed a home first-leg lead, doing so four times during their run to the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League final, including that round of 16 tie against Athletic, when they won the first leg 3-1, and most recently this season against Qarabağ, making it seven successes in a row. Their record after winning the first home leg 2-1 is W3 L1, the most recent tie yielding an aggregate victory over Ajax in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 16 (2-2 a aet).
UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moskva, loan), Emmanuel Essiam, Albian Hajdari (Juventus, loan), Noah Katterbach (Köln, loan)
Out: Arthur Cabral (Fiorentina), Carmine Chiappetta (Winterthur, loan), Eray Cömert (Valencia), Adrian Durrer (Lugano), Jordi Quintillà (St Gallen), Gonçalo Cardoso (West Ham, end loan), Tician Tushi (Winterthur, loan), Edon Zhegrova (LOSC Lille)
In: Cédric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan), Sead Kolašinac (Arsenal)
Out: Jordan Amavi (Nice, loan), Luis Henrique
Links and trivia
• Basel returned to European action this month with a new coach, Patrick Rahmen having been dismissed on 21 February and replaced by his assistant, 32-year-old Spaniard Guillermo ‘Guille’ Abascal.
• Abascal was a youth team coach at Sevilla when Marseille’s Sampaoli was in charge of the senior team in 2016/17.
• French youth and Under-21 international Andy Pelmard is on loan at Basel from Nice, where he has been a senior professional since 2019. Swiss youth international Dan Ndoye is also currently on loan to Basel from Nice, while Serbian defender Strahinja Pavlović is on loan from Monaco.
• Pelmard has played for the French Under-21 side with Marseille’s William Saliba and Boubacar Kamara.
• Marseille are one of three former European Cup/UEFA Champions League winners in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 along with Dutch duo Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven.
• Marseille and fellow Ligue 1 side Rennes are the only two of last season’s 32 UEFA Champions League participants involved in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16.
• Basel’s record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
4-1 v Tottenham Hotspur, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League quarter-final
• Marseille’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L1:
3-5 v Crvena zvezda, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
4-1 v Germinal Beerschot, 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round
7-6 v FC Twente, 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32
Source Link: Read more