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Fresh from signing a two-year contract extension over the weekend, FC Basel 1893 coach Thorsten Fink thinks his team go into their Group E encounter at home to AS Roma as "outsiders", despite two victories against the Giallorossi in the last year. Roma, who lost 3-1 at home to their Swiss hosts on Matchday 3, know they can ill afford a repeat, with Claudio Ranieri plotting a new tactical approach.
Thorsten Fink, Basel coach
It'll be tough and we're the outsiders despite our victory in the last match. They are the favourites and definitely want to win here. We have beaten Roma twice already [including last season in the UEFA Europa League] and that is good for my team because we know we can defeat them. We know a win will improve our position in the group but sometimes it's harder to get a result at home than it is away.
We will not change our tactics. We want to play our own game and control possession. I doubt Roma will play on the counterattack: they will close us down early and try to score. I signed a new contract here because this is a great club and I have a great team. Being the coach here gives me the chance to participate in the UEFA Champions League on a regular basis.
Claudio Ranieri, Roma coach
It's an important game for both teams; we each want to progress to the next round. We cannot repeat the mistakes we made in the previous game; I'm sure it'll be a great match. I never rely on one system. I changed it in the last match against Lecce and I may do the same again. I see which players are at my disposal and act accordingly.
We have to improve and concentrate. In the last game Basel had three chances and scored three goals – that's something we need to avoid. Our Champions League future is on line so it's extremely important. We are getting better as a team and morale is excellent. We want to build on that. Winning is always the best medicine. Yes, we have a lot of injuries but we want to show that we are a strong side. It's always easy to pass the role of favourite to the other team. Roma have a big name and we have to live with that.
Genséric Kusunga went off with a muscle problem during the weekend fixture against AC Bellinzona and Jacques Zoua has not played since tearing a thigh muscle on 10 September while on duty with Cameroon.
Philippe Mexès sat out the weekend game against US Lecce due to a fever, while Cicinho replaced Marco Cassetti at half-time after the defender complained of ankle pains. Matteo Brighi sustained a muscle injury late on and will miss the Basel match along with David Pizarro (thigh), Rodrigo Taddei (calf) and Adriano (twisted ankle). Francesco Totti is doubtful with a shoulder problem.
30/10/10 Basel 3-1 AC Bellinzona
(Chipperfield 30 54, Almerares 41; Feltscher 61)
Thorsten Fink made eight changes to the team which defeated FC St. Gallen in Basel's previous game, only Franco Costanzo, Samuel Inkoom and Xherdan Shaqiri retaining their places. The win, coupled with defeat for FC Luzern, lifted Basel to the Super League summit for the first time since August.
30/10/10 Roma 2-0 US Lecce
(Burdisso 62, Vučinić 76)
Totti and Lecce's Rubén Olivera were sent off after Mirko Vučinić's goal, meaning the Roma captain will be suspended for Sunday's derby with S.S. Lazio. Roma have lost just one of their last 20 home games in Serie A.
Did you know?
Roma have never won in Switzerland, recording two draws and two defeats. Besides beating Roma last term, at home Basel overcame Juventus 2-1 in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage, then drew 1-1 with FC Internazionale Milano in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
For more information see the match background.
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