Liverpool fans need to forget about their club’s dreadful return to the Champions League and get behind the Reds domestically, because Basel will claim the win or draw they need, at 20/21 double-chance odds, to knock Brendan Rodgers’ men out of the continent’s top tourny at Anfield.
Rodgers’ fellow former Swansea boss Paulo Sousa has been coaxing a fine tune out of the Swiss champions, who are on course for a sixth Superleague title in a row having gone eight points clear at the top of their homeland’s table.
Sousa’s men are currently riding an eight-match unbeaten streak domestically, winning seven of those fixtures, and have also won all bar one of eight games in all competitions since the end of October, with a sole 1-0 loss coming at home to European champions Real Madrid during that run.
Even worse news for Liverpool comes in the form of their next opponents’ remarkable record in this competition against English sides.
Basel have avoided defeat in seven of their last eight Champions League meetings with Premier League protagonists, beating Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea (twice) in their past four such matches, not to mention knocking Tottenham out of the Europa League at the quarter-final stage in March 2013.
Then we get onto Liverpool, the winners of just two of their past eight fixtures all told, with those victories coming against Premier League bottom-half fodder Leicester and Stoke.
After only claiming four points so far in the group, with each of them coming more by luck than judgement against a plucky Ludogorets outfit, it’s something of a miracle that, to paraphrase Rodgers, the Reds still hold their Champions League fate in their own hands.
However, Liverpool’s struggles to bother the scoreboard operator at home, with seven in their last seven at Anfield, allied with the fact that keeper Simon Mignolet has been breached at least once in 16 of his employers’ last 19 fixtures, suggests the Reds are very much Europa League-bound.