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Streller sees Basel stock rising before Benfica's eyes

Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 20.14CET
Marco Streller believes SL Benfica will arrive at St. Jakob-Park with "lots of respect" for his FC Basel 1893 side after their 3-3 draw at Manchester United FC last month.
by Ben Gladwell
from Basel
Streller sees Basel stock rising before Benfica's eyes
Basel captain Marco Streller is unfazed by the recent departure of coach Thorsten Fink ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BaselBenfica

Goals scored12
 
13
Attempts on target32
 
59
Attempts off target35
 
71
Corners30
 
56
Offsides24
 
14
Fouls committed91
 
145
Yellow cards18
 
27
Red cards1
 
2
 
Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 20.14CET

Streller sees Basel stock rising before Benfica's eyes

Marco Streller believes SL Benfica will arrive at St. Jakob-Park with "lots of respect" for his FC Basel 1893 side after their 3-3 draw at Manchester United FC last month.

Marco Streller believes that FC Basel 1893's 3-3 draw at Manchester United FC last month has sent such shockwaves through European football that his side will be taken more seriously from now on, with SL Benfica their UEFA Champions League visitors on Tuesday.

"We have shown that we can compete with the best and we will look to do the same against Benfica," said the Basel captain. "The coach has prepared us well and I can't wait for it to get started."

However, the 30-year-old has stopped short of suggesting his side, who lead Group C with four points, are now favourites to win against Jorge Jesus's side. Benfica, after all, are only second in the section by virtue of fewer goals scored. "To say we are favourites for this group now would be an overstatement," said Streller. "Benfica will come here with lots of respect for us, but they are still favourites.

"They have a great tradition; they have very technically gifted players and are also physically strong in defence. It will be a very difficult game and we are certainly outsiders, although the situation has changed a bit with our draw in Manchester. Our fans have certainly now got a taste for it after that result."

Benfica drew 1-1 against United in Lisbon, but comparisons based upon the sides' relative successes against Sir Alex Ferguson's men are not necessarily helpful. "It's not as easy as that," said Streller, Basel's star performer in their opening group victory against FC Oţelul Galaţi. "Manchester United and Benfica are top teams. From the start, we were given an outsider's chance and after our game against United that has changed a bit, but I saw Benfica's game against United and I think they were the better team."

Thorsten Fink was in charge for Basel's opening two matches, but his switch to Hamburger SV this week means Heiko Vogel faces a baptism of fire as caretaker-coach. However, Streller, who is in his fifth season at Basel, insists it will be business as usual at St. Jakob-Park.

"Enough has been said about the change of coach," said the striker. "We have complete faith in our new coach and his philosophy is similar to what went before anyway. He has a compact team which he helped to develop, and although he has now taken over, there are no tensions. Now we will see if there is a reaction of defiance. We have faith in our new coach and he has faith in us and that is a good foundation."

Last updated: 18/10/11 13.06CET

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