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Basel and Oţelul Galaţi eye flying starts

FC Basel 1893 and newcomers FC Oţelul Galaţi may be outsiders in Group C, but coaches Thorsten Frink and Dorinel Munteanu struck upbeat notes ahead of Wednesday's opener.

Thorsten Fink is hopeful of a good start
Thorsten Fink is hopeful of a good start ©Getty Images

The coaches of FC Basel 1893 and UEFA Champions League debutants FC Oţelul Galaţi are looking to causing a few upsets as they open their Group C bids on Wednesday in Switzerland, well aware most pundits are backing Manchester United FC and SL Benfica to top the section.

Coach Thorsten Frink
We are glad that the Champions League is finally getting under way. When you hear the music before the game it gets you motivated. We are facing a very compact team in Galaţi, who are very defensive. They don't have a great star, but their strength is their togetherness; they can cause upsets. We need a lot of patience to crack them because they will play defensively, but they also have dangerous players like John Ibeh, who can spread play and keep possession, and Liviu Antal, who always likes to push forward. We are taking them very seriously.

Our aim is to be in Europe beyond the winter. We are outsiders, like in recent years when we caused upsets, but we want to win our first game and try and knock Galaţi out of the running. Benfica and Manchester United are favourites in this group, but on a good day we can beat them; we want to take our chance as outsiders. We have confidence, experience, motivated youngsters and this all gives us hope.

Weekend result
Saturday: Servette FC 0-4 Basel
(F Frei 33 60, Streller 69, G Xhaka 86)
Sommer; Steinhöfer, Abraham, Dragović, Park; F Frei (G Xhaka 78), Cabral, Huggel (Kováč 87), Shaqiri (Andrist 70); A Frei, Streller

• Basel have scored in each of their opening eight league games this season but have managed just three wins.

Team news
Xherdan Shaqiri begins a two-match suspension. Scott Chipperfield is yet to play this term because of a torn muscle; Valentin Stocker, Gilles Yapi and Genséric Kusunga are sidelined with knee injuries.

Coach Dorinel Munteanu
We are delighted to be here, delighted to have reached the group stage of the Champions League, which is the result of a lot of work. Basel are not unknown. Last year they were in the Champions League. We feel we have a chance. Maybe we're not favourites in the group, but will try our best.

We lost 4-0 at the weekend and Basel won 4-0, but does that mean we should not even play? Of course not. We have to play and we feel we have a chance. We have the lowest chance of getting through the group, but as I have said, we will focus on every game and try to get something; then we will see where we end up. I know Swiss football and I know Basel. They have experienced players, but I don't know how they will play.

Weekend result
Friday: Oţelul 0-4 CFR 1907 Cluj
(Ronny 1, Bastos 56, Weldon 74, Hora 90+1)
Grahovac; Râpă, Costin, Sarghi, Ilie; Giurgiu, Filip (Pena 58); Antal, Ibeh, Bus (Frunză 67); Paraschiv (Ljubinkovic 36)

• Oţelul warmed up for their UEFA Champions League debut with their worst home defeat since 5 November 2006, when they went down 7-0 against FC Rapid Bucureşti. It was, said coach Munteanu, a "black day".

Team news
Full squad available.

Match fact
Twelve months ago Fink's side slipped to a 2-1 matchday one defeat at Oţelul's weekend nemesesCFR Cluj after conceding twice in the first 12 minutes.