Oct 01, 2014

    Reds confident as Basel clash looms


    LIVERPOOL are confident that they can put a frustrating run of domestic form behind them when they face FC Basel in Switzerland in the Champions League Group B match today.

    The Reds are languishing in the bottom half of the English Premier League, with Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Everton in the Merseyside derby following three defeats in their opening five matches.

    But midfielder Jordan Henderson believes the performance against Everton, which featured a marvellous Steven Gerrard free kick to put Liverpool in front, means they can go to the St Jakob-Park in a confident frame of mind.

    "I don't think it'll affect us because the performance level was very good," said the midfielder.

    "We've got to take the positives out of that. The goal was in the top corner, so we've just got to keep going and keep playing like that.

    "If we keep putting in performances like that, we'll win more than we don't."

    Liverpool go to Switzerland having started their Group B campaign with a 2-1 win against Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria two weeks ago, although they required an injury-time Gerrard penalty to get the three points in their first match in the competition in five years.

    On paper, Brendan Rodgers' side are strongly fancied to progress to the last 16, along with Real Madrid, but a slip-up today would put them under pressure ahead of a double-header against the defending European champions.

    Rodgers confirmed that he would check on the fitness of striker Daniel Sturridge, who has missed the last five matches due to a thigh injury but is now closer to a comeback.

    "I'll see how he is. He wasn't far away for Everton, but he certainly wasn't fit enough to be on the bench," said the Anfield club's boss, who also has Emre Can, Joe Allen, Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan on the sidelines.

    Basel are top of the Swiss Super League. But a 1-1 draw at home to Thun over the weekend - in which they also conceded a late equaliser - suggested that Basel are not yet up to the standard of the side that beat Chelsea home and away in last season's Champions League.