Manchester City couldn't have wished for a more favourable draw when they were paired with FC Basel in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, with the runaway Premier League leaders firm favourites to progress to the quarter finals.
Basel performed well to finish second in Group A ahead of CSKA Moscow and a surprisingly poor Benfica side. However, in facing the plucky Swiss champions, City have avoided giants like Juventus, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, for now.
Basel have never been beyond the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League before, and research from LeoVegas Sport has revealed that the RotBlau have the worst win percentage at this stage of the competition of all the clubs paired with English teams this season.
Across two previous two-legged last 16 ties, Basel have won just a single game of the four they have played - that works out at just 25%.
That sole victory came during the 2011/12 campaign, when a late goal in the first leg in Switzerland from Valentin Stocker stunned Bayern Munich and gave Basel a 1-0 aggregate lead before heading to Germany for the return fixture.
A wounded Bayern responded with a 7-0 win to seal a 7-1 aggregate score-line. Three years later, Basel were then beaten 5-1 on aggregate at this stage by Porto. It means they have scored just twice and conceded 12 across those four games.
In the past, they have been most vulnerable to conceding immediately after half-time and in the final 15 minutes of their Last 16 games. That could be good news for City, who have scored plenty of late goals so far this season.
Sergio Agüero has been at Man City since 2011.— bet365 (@bet365) February 10, 2018
He's scored 141 league goals
Despite multiple injuries
Despite being dropped multiple times
Despite being linked away regularly
He STILL has the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any Premier League player in history. pic.twitter.com/Gi4lQeiqTY
(You may also be interested in '7 of the Best Players to Join Champions League Clubs in January Ahead of the Last 16 Stage')
However, one important factor is Basel's strength at their St Jakob-Park home, where they beat Manchester United with a single late goal in the group stage in November, and where the first leg against City will be played this week.
In their past last 16 ties, Basel have only conceded once at home. Based on that record, the score-line could well be tight after the first leg in Switzerland, with City perhaps needing to wait until the second leg in Manchester to put the tie to bed - Basel have conceded as many as 11 times in their two second leg games at this stage of the competition.
It would appear that history is not on Basel's side.