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Know Your Enemies: FC Sion

When Europa League action resumes on Thursday night, Liverpool will host FC Sion. Know Your Enemies is here to take a closer, neutral look at this Swiss side.

Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Last time out in Europa League action, Brendan Rodger's Liverpool ran out an experimental and youthful contingent, and the result was not completely disastrous. Although the game was there to be won for the Reds, the 1-1 draw away to Bordeaux still showed some improvement over previous dire results. Meanwhile in Switzerland, the team many predicted to finish last in the group--FC Sion--topped Rubin Kazan 2-1 to take the early lead in the group.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at the history of this Swiss side:

FC Sion

FC Sion was founded in 1909, but spent decades scrapping by in the lower tiers of Swiss football. The club entered the fourth tier in 1932, and ascended to the third tier in 1944 (which, as previous mentioned in the Bordeaux post, is a curious time period to be reporting on football related matters). They were quickly relegated back to the fourth division, but earned two promotions throughout the 50's, and eventually took their place in the top-tier of Swiss football in 1962.

In 1968, Sion moved into their current stadium, Stade Tourbillon, and the ownership was promptly rewarded with relegation in 1969. As far as I can glean, Sion has always worn red and white kits--white with red accents at home, and red with white accents away. Keep it simple. Their badge is also stylish and simple, red and white with two stars (presumably signifying their two domestic championships, but this is just speculation).

In 1965, FC Sion won its first of thirteen Swiss Cup triumphs. In fact, their record in Swiss Cup finals is unblemished. Thirteen appearances, thirteen wins, including three consecutive Cup victories from 1995-97. They also won last year's edition, earning them this spot in the Europa League.

In addition to their bounty of Swiss Cup trophies, they have won the domestic league twice, in 1991-92, and in 96-97.

Despite all of their domestic success, this year marks their first appearance in the Europa League group stages. Under the old format, the farthest FC Sion advanced was to the 3rd round in 1994-95.

The club is also famous, or perhaps more accurately infamous, for a recent transfer ban over the fielding of ineligible players. This led to their disqualification from the Europa League play-off round against Celtic during the 2011-12 season, a round they won on aggregate 3-1, but were subsequently forced to forfeit. Sion then were docked 36 points in the Swiss Super League, dropping them to last in December of 2011. Sion were able to climb back to 9th (out of 10) and fight off relegation before the end of the campaign.

Liverpool host FC Sion Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:05 PM GMT. The reverse fixture, last in the group stage, will take place Dec. 10.

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