Brendan Rodgers says he understands the importance of tonight for Liverpool fans, as the Reds line up in their first Champions League away game for five years at St Jakob’s Park.
Liverpool’s last Champions League away game came in Budapest in 2009, when a David Ngog goal was enough to edge a 1-0 win over Debrecian.
Since then, the Reds have been forced to sit back and watch their domestic rivals contest Champions League games at some of Europe’s finest venues, and although FC Basel may not be the biggest name in the competition, the boss understands the significance of the match for Liverpool supporters.
“We’ve waited so many years for games such as these,” Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com. “So now that we’re here, we want to go out and express ourselves and look to go and get the three points.
“It will be a tough game for us. They’re regular performers in the Champions League, so they know the level, they know the experiences and we’ve seen that they are a very good side.
“They are the top team in Switzerland and I think it’s going to be a tough game. We’re really relishing and looking forward to it.
“In the Real Madrid game [a 5-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu] Basel should have scored more than one goal. They were good in attack and they scored a good goal in the game.”
Rodgers has studied tonight’s opponents at close quarters, and is expecting a tough game against a side that have beaten Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea in recent times.
“Basel play some very good football and they have some technically gifted players,” said the Northern Irishman. “They play 3-5-1-1 or 4-2-3-1, so they’re very technically gifted.
“They have quick players and they have their captain, Marco Streller, who is someone that scores goals regularly. So I think we’ve seen enough of them.
“I’ve seen them enough – I went to watch them live in Schalke last year. They were unfortunate not to come through the group stages last season, so we expect a tough game.”