Liverpool vs Basel – Champions LeagueJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Liverpool will hope to continue their winning start to this year’s Champions League campaign when they take on Basel on Wednesday.
Daniel Sturridge has been out for the club’s previous five matches with a thigh problem but looks likely to return tomorrow to help his side in what should be a fairly easy outing.
Brendan Rodgers’ team have had a fairly miserable start to the Premier League season with just seven points from their first six games. Their Champions League campaign however has begun more successfully with the Reds beating Ludogorets 2-1 in their first game, courtesy of an injury time penalty from Steven Gerrard.
With Sturridge’s return imminent and the 25-year-old expected to make an appearance in Switzerland, Liverpool’s hopes could be looking up.
“He wasn’t really close for the game against Everton,” Rodgers said. “I’ll see how he is. He wasn’t far away for Everton, but he certainly wasn’t fit enough to be on the bench.
“Daniel is obviously a top talent – and he’s not far away from being back playing.”
Other Liverpool players who look less likely to return for the Basel clash include Emre Can, Glen Johnson and Joe Allen, who will all remain side-lined for the tomorrow’s game.
Mario Balotelli netted his first Liverpool goal in the side’s victory over Ludogorets and will again take the lead on attack. The Italian was unable to find the net against Everton on Saturday, failing to score despite 10 good efforts Basel however, should provide him with less frustration
Basel approach Wednesday’s game as table-toppers of the Swiss Super League but Paulo Sousa’s team have so far failed to make any impact in the Champions League this season. They were thrashed 5-1 by Real Madrid in the first of their group games so must secure a victory against Liverpool for a realistic chance of progressing past the group stage.
The last time these two sides met was at St Jakob-Park in the 2002 Champions League. Liverpool failed to secure the win they needed for second place in Group B and ended up drawing against Basel in a game that was dominated by the Swiss side.
Gerrard is now the only remaining member of that Liverpool team and will be approaching the game determined to claim the victory he was unable to muster before.
Champions League: Basel v Liverpool Betting Odds
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