A place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is up for grabs when Group B rivals Liverpool FC and FC Basel 1893 meet at Anfield on matchday six.
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A place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is up for grabs when Liverpool FC and FC Basel 1893 meet at Anfield on matchday six.
• Second in Group B with a two-point advantage over the Reds, Basel need only draw to secure their first knockout-stage appearance since 2011/12. Liverpool require three points to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2008/09.
• In the 2002/03 first group stage, Basel drew 1-1 at Anfield on matchday two. They then led Liverpool 3-0 at home on matchday six only for the Reds to earn a 3-3 draw with a second-half fightback. Steven Gerrard played in both games but was substituted at half-time in Basel.
• For Liverpool, the 3-3 result was not enough – Basel still pipped them to second place in the group by a point.
• The lineups at Anfield on 25 September 2002 were:
Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyypiä, Riise, Murphy, Gerrard, Cheyrou, Heskey (Diouf 71), Owen (Berger 79), Baroš.
Basel: Zuberbühler, Haas, M Yakin, Quennoz, Atouba, Barberis, Cantaluppi, H Yakin (Duruz 67), Esposito, Rossi (Tum 74), Giménez.
• Liverpool have gone four games without a win in the UEFA Champions League since defeating PFC Ludogorets Razgrad with a stoppage-time Gerrard penalty on matchday one. The last time the Reds went five European games without a win was the 2001/02 second group stage.
• This match falls almost ten years ago to the day since Liverpool last played a win-or-bust final group fixture at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League. On 8 December 2004 they came from behind to beat Olympiacos FC 3-1, Gerrard scoring their third goal, and went on to win the trophy.
• Liverpool suffered their heaviest European home defeat when losing 3-0 to Real Madrid CF on matchday three. Indeed, the Reds have lost four of their last six UEFA Champions League games at Anfield.
• Liverpool drew 2-2 with BSC Young Boys when last hosting Swiss opposition in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage. Martin Škrtel and Jordan Henderson started, Gerrard and Raheem Sterling coming off the bench.
• The Premier League side's home record against Swiss clubs is W3 D2 L0.
• If Liverpool win they will qualify with seven points, the same total they achieved in their last group stage campaign in 2009/10 when they finished third.
• In five previous campaigns in the UEFA Champions League and four in the UEFA Europa League, Basel have always taken at least one point on their travels.
• Basel have won their last four games against Premier League opposition in the UEFA Champions League, including the 1-0 home success against Liverpool on matchday two. Indeed, they have lost just once in nine meetings with English opposition in the competition.
• The Swiss title holders earned their first win in England at the tenth attempt when beating Chelsea FC 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in last season's group stage. Their overall record on English soil is W1 D4 L6.
Coach and player links
• Brendan Rodgers replaced Paulo Sousa as manager of Swansea City AFC in July 2010 after the Portuguese left for Leicester City FC.
• The managers met twice in the English second division, both matches finishing goalless:
Swansea City (Sousa) 0-0 Reading FC (Rodgers), August 2009
Queens Park Rangers FC (Sousa) 0-0 Watford FC (Rodgers), December 2008
• Henderson, Sterling and substitute Rickie Lambert played in England's 2-0 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying win in Switzerland on 8 September. Fabian Frei and Fabian Schär were unused Swiss substitutes.
• Philipp Degen made seven league appearances for Liverpool (2008–10).
• Ivan Ivanov and Lazar Marković were FK Partizan team-mates (2011–13).
• Walter Samuel and Mario Balotelli won the UEFA Champions League with FC Internazionale Milano (2010).
• Balotelli was sent off playing for Italy against Marek Suchý's Czech Republic in a goalless 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Prague in June 2013. Three months later he hit the winner in the Turin return.
• Mamadou Sakho was in the France side that beat Switzerland 5-2 in the 2014 World Cup group stage. Schär was an unused Swiss substitute.
• Yoichiro Kakitani scored past Simon Mignolet in Japan's 3-2 friendly victory in Belgium in November 2013.
• Marcelo Díaz was in the Chile team that triumphed 2-0 against an England side including Glen Johnson, Adam Lallana and substitute Henderson in the same month.
• Sterling made his England debut against a Sweden side featuring substitute Behrang Safari in a 4-2 friendly success for the Swedes in November 2012.
• Ivanov was an unused substitute in PFC CSKA Sofia's 1-0 second-leg win at Liverpool in a 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie (2-3 aggregate).
• Liverpool have lost six of their 15 Premier League games this season, as many defeats as they suffered in the whole of 2013/14.
• Liverpool were held 0-0 by Sunderland AFC on Saturday and have won just five out of 12 at home this season.
• Johnson's first goal since 9 December 2012 earned Liverpool a 1-0 home win against Stoke City FC on 29 November.
• The Reds registered back-to-back victories for only the second time this term when they triumphed 3-1 at strugglers Leicester City FC on 2 December.
• Balotelli has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury training with Italy on 15 November.
• Daniel Sturridge − out since breaking down on England duty at the start of September − returned to full training early last month but picked up a new thigh injury in training on 18 November and was ruled out for another six weeks. Liverpool have won just six of their 19 matches without him.
• Geoffroy Serey Die is available after serving a two-game ban. Derlis González, Taulant Xhaka, Suchý and Schär are all a booking away from a suspension.
• Basel have won seven of their last eight games and have conceded just twice in their last seven.
• Matías Delgado was on target twice – his first goals since August – as Basel won 3-0 at the Swiss Super League's bottom side FC Luzern on Saturday.
• Swiss Super League leaders Basel won 2-1 at second-placed FC Zürich on 30 November.
• Shkelzen Gashi − the Swiss top flight's 19-goal leading marksman last term for Grasshopper Club − has scored eight in as many outings in all competitions.
• Having missed ten matches due to a slipped disc, Marco Streller returned to action against Zürich.
• Giovanni Sio is sidelined with a knee injury.
• Ivan Ivanov, out since January because of a knee problem, is Basel's only long-term absentee. On 15 September he underwent another operation and is expected to be unavailable for a further six months.