Introducing opponents: Basel (Switzerland)
On July 9, Shakhtar will play their second Valais Cup game. The opponents are FC Basel.
This club has been unequivocally the strongest in Switzerland in recent years. Basel, whose history dates back to 1893, are 18-time domestic champions. More titles were won only by Grasshopper, although the latter have not claimed the top spot since 2003. After that season, Basel proved their superiority 9 times.
The team are regular participants in the UEFA Champions League. Last season, Basel advanced from the group together with Real, leaving behind Liverpool and Ludogorets, but they lost to Porto on aggregate in the Last 16. Speaking of European competitions, we want to remember the 2012-13 season, when the Swiss side reached the Europa League semis (at this stage the team coached by Murat Yakin gave way to the future winners Chelsea).
This summer, Basel have signed a new head coach - Urs Fischer. The Swiss replaced the Portuguese Paulo Sousa. A 49-year-old Fischer previously headed Zurich and Thun.
During this summer break, Basel signed up a former Inter midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Austria striker Marc Janko. Walter Samuel, Marek Suchy, Taulan Jak and Derlis Gonzalez can be highlighted as the team leaders.
Over the past 10 years, Mircea Lucescu’s Shakhtar have had 5 friendly matches vs Basel: claiming two wins, suffering the same number of defeats, plus one game ended in a draw with no goals scored.
In the 2008-09 season, the Pitmen encountered the Swiss in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The Orange-blacks secured a 2-1 away win (through the goals scored by Fernandinho and Jadson), thrashing the opponents 5-0 at the RSC Olympiyskiy in Donetsk (through a hat-trick by Jadson and precision shots by Willian and Yevhen Seleznyov).
We want to add that the Basel - Shakhtar encounter kicks off at 20:00 Ukrainian time (EET) on July 9. Follow the news and broadcasts on our website.