IT’S a must win game for Liverpool on Tuesday night if they wish to make the Champions League knockout stage. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the best bets from Anfield.
Liverpool v Basel | Tuesday 19.45 | ITV 1
Fail to beat Basel and Liverpool will be out. The Reds are 3/4 (BetVictor) to get the job done at Anfield on Tuesday night but I can’t imagine there are many punters rushing to back Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Liverpool have won three of their last 11 games in all competitions – Premier League victories over Leicester and Stoke as well as a League Cup win against Swansea. In front of their home fans, it’s just five wins from 12, all by a one-goal margin.
The likes of Sunderland, Hull, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough have all come away from Anfield without being beaten in 90 minutes. Ludgorets were minutes away from joining them. Could Basel join that list? Of course.
The Swiss side are eight points clear in their domestic league and had the luxury of resting half their squad for their weekend win over Luzern. That victory made it seven wins in eight for Basel with only Real Madrid denying them a perfect eight.
In fact, Carlo Ancelotti was so impressed with Paulo Sousa’s men in their two games against the European champions to say he expected them to take a point from Tuesday’s showdown. I’m inclined to agree. Coral are giving us 23/20 on Basel in the Double Chance market.
Rodgers has called on the crowd to recreate another ‘famous European night at Anfield’ but it’s clear where their problems lie. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge’s 61 goals last season masked the defensive deficiencies that have haunted Liverpool over the past three years.
They’ve yet to keep a Champions League clean sheet this season and could find things tough against a Swiss side that’s shipped only two goals in their last four Champions League outings.
It’ll be a nervy night on Merseyside but I’m going to invest my faith and bank balance in Basel securing their place in the knockout stages by denying Liverpool the win they require.
It’s also worth noting that eight of the visitors’ last 10 Champions League games have featured Under 2.5 Goals. A repeat is 11/10 with BetVictor and could be worth a small dabble.
Liverpool v Basel – Basel double chance (23/20 Coral)