Real Madrid are through, Basel aren't and Liverpool could send the Swiss side down into the play-offs with a win at Anfield on Tuesday evening.
The fat lady hasn’t sung yet and Liverpool are still in with a chance of clinching a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. They will have a difficult task on their hands however against a Basel side who have performed well in Group B.
The Swiss side enter this match with a firm advantage, knowing that a single point would be sufficient to deny Liverpool an automatic place in the last sixteen, whether Ludogorets defeat runaway leaders Real Madrid or not.
It’s a simple enough scenario for Liverpool. Triumph against Basel and proceed through to the competition’s knockout stages. Lose or even draw and drop down to join Merseyside rivals Everton in the Europa League.
Liverpool’s return to Europe’s premier club competition has been somewhat underwhelming to say the least, the side managing a solitary victory from their five outings in the competition so far. Indeed, their European form firmly reflects their performances in the Premier League and they will need to re-find their form should they wish to stay in the hunt for European glory.
Mario Balotelli will play no part due to injury, with Daniel Sturridge also absent. Nevertheless a strong line-up will include Steven Gerrard as well as Lucas Leiva and Kolo Toure and on paper Brendan Rodgers’ side should really dominate this match.
Ex Leicester City and Swansea manager Paulo Sousa is in charge at the Swiss side and he will likely adopt a defensive strategy for this encounter and effectively ‘park the bus’ in front of the home goal.
Saying that, Liverpool need to be all out in attack and the passionate Anfield crowd will be a huge help to a side lacking in confidence this season.
Liverpool haven’t managed a single clean sheet in this season’s Champions League as yet and we don’t expect things to change on Tuesday evening, however a narrow win is indeed possible and we expect some more Champions League action at Anfield this season.
Lambert managed to find the back of the net in Bulgaria two weeks ago and he offers decent value at 16/11 at 888sport to get onto the scoresheet this time around.
Live coverage on ITV1 at 7:45pm, Tuesday 9th December.
Our betting tips
Liverpool win with both teams scoring – Bet365 12/5
Over 2.5 Goals – Sky Bet 4/5