Champions League

Reds prepare for Basel clash

2014-12-09 10:39
Brendan Rodgers (Andrew Powell/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers (Andrew Powell/Getty Images)
Cape Town - Liverpool will be desperate for a win to progress to the last-16 of the Champions League when they host FC Basel at Anfield on Tuesday evening.

The Reds need the three points to book a place in the next round of the competition, having lost to the Swiss side away from home already.

Brendan Rodgers's side have struggled for form this season and drew 2-2 with Ludogorets Razgrad in their last European Group B tie, despite leading for much of the second half.

The draw at Anfield preceded successive losses to Real Madrid, meaning their Champions League hopes are pinned on Tuesday's clash.

Rodgers, though, will remain without controversial striker Mario Balotelli, who is continuing rehabilitation on a groin injury.

Defender Mamadou Sakho is still a week or so away from making his comeback after returning to training after a thigh injury. Suso, Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan remain long-term concerns.

Basel, though, only need a draw from the midweek encounter to progress to the next round and will come into the game confident of getting a result.

In this season's Champions League, Basel have lost three games - twice to Real Madrid and once to Ludogorets - and won the other two against the Reds and the Bulgarians.

The RotBlau are currently top of the Swiss Super League standings and are enjoying an eight-point gap after 18 games.

Paulo Sousa's men have lost just once in their last nine outings, a 1-0 defeat to defending European champions Madrid, winning seven and drawing the other.


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