After flirting with disaster in week one, Liverpool must travel to Basel for their first away game since regaining their Champions League license, where, despite what the odds say, victory is anything means guaranteed.
The Reds assume 11/10 favouritism for the clash at St Jakob-Park, while the draw is on offer at 23/10, but it’s the chunky 12/5 about a home win where the smart money is at.
Despite having hoisted the trophy five times in their history, Brendan Rodgers’ side put in amateurish performance against Ludogorets last time out and were fortunate in the extreme to escape with the spoils.
A repeat of these schoolboy shenanigans in Switzerland will see them duly punished against seasoned continental pros Basel.
Chelsea paid the price for underestimating this foe not once, but twice, in the group-stage of this competition last term, with the Blues going down to a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge before losing 1-0 in the corresponding fixture.
The west Londoners aren’t the only Premier League outfit to have been felled by this foe though.
Tottenham were ejected from the 2012/13 Europa League on penalties after drawing 4-4 on aggregate, while Manchester United were expelled from the Champions League after losing to the RotBlau at this stage of the 2011/12 campaign.
It’s a feat Liverpool have also sampled having being edged out of second place in their pool by the Swiss champions in the 2002/03 vintage following a 3-3 draw in the north of neutral territory.
Basel wrestled the spoils from five of eight visiting opponents in Europe last season and, taking both domestic and continental outings into consideration, they’ve lost just one competitive match in front of their own supporters since October 1st 2013.
With things going far from swimmingly for the Reds at the minute, they’ll gleefully accept a point from this sojourn, but based on the recent fortunes of their countrymen on this ground, they’ll do well to get that, so back the hosts here.