FC Basel Champions League Match Preview: It’s Time to Make Our Own Memories

The boys get ready for Basel

As much as this is being billed as a do or die showdown, that’s only true for one team. Going into Tuesday’s meeting with FC Basel at Anfield, in what could very well be Liverpool’s last Champions League match this season, the fact that the Swiss side don’t have to come out on top to progress to the knock-out stages hangs like a ghastly spectre in the air.

When you take into account the Reds scoreless draw with Sunderland at the weekend, it only exacerbates this point. The visitors, who have been tight at the back and quick on the counter-attack, don’t have to come out of their shell away from home and look for a goal; they don’t have to win, they just can’t lose, and that’s a major problem for us.

While we were being shepherded around the pitch by a team that was absolutely battered midweek, Basel, who currently sit quite comfortably on top of the Swiss Super League table, were scoring three unanswered goals to reinforce their domestic dominance. Attacking midfielder Matías Emilio Delgado bagged himself a second half brace, scoring both in under five minutes, to give Paulo Sousa’s side a commanding lead before Breel Embolo added another in injury time.

Liverpool, in comparison, put a mere two shots on target on Saturday — neither of which looked like finding the net. It’s safe to say that the Reds of last season are long gone, and if you hadn’t realized that quite yet, the boss wasn’t about to let that point slip past you. During his post match presser, the Northern Irishman spelled out it plain and simple: the lads are working hard, but this is a different team filled with different players. Which, as we’ve seen, is giving us entirely different results.

And that’s not being defeatist; to be fair, if we can pull our act together, we could walk this one. That being said, even after claiming seven out of the possible nine points on offer in the last week, there’s no question that we’ve lost momentum vital momentum. Still, contemplating our future on the eve of the match, it’s strange to think that Rodgers, despite his sides poor start to the season and his frank realization of his own mortality, is on the precipice of guiding us into the knock-out round of the Champions League.

We can barely defend, we’re hardly creating anything of note and we’re not scoring nearly enough, but we could very well be off to the last sixteen of the continents most important club competition. The Kop has been there to bare witness to more special nights than I could even begin to recount, but there’s no question that those of the European persuasion command a place in the heart very much their own. Come tomorrow night, we could be adding another memory to a bank already brimming with them.

Forget evoking the well trodden spirit of Olympiakos and that famous night in Istanbul. Those teams, much like the one of last year, are gone and aren’t going to help us; it’s time for this side to create memories of our own. This is Anfield. This is Liverpool. This is Europe.

Those words still mean something.


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *