Basel is having far away from a positive season so far and they can be really thankful that the side managed to get the direct placement to the group stage of Champions League, otherwise is a huge question mark whether they would be playing in it in case the side had to play additional Champions League qualifying rounds.
They couldn’t do much more in the first round of Champions League since the side visited in-form Manchester United and suffered 3:0 defeat, while despite everything, they have a chance of reaching the knockout stage, since the group isn’t that strong with Benfica and CSKA Moscow who are probably bit better this season, but can be played with. As for the domestic league, they come from a 1:0 narrow home victory over Zurich, standing now third at the table with six points less than leaders from Zurich and a four victories, two draws and three defeats record for now having first victory after four winless rounds.
They should be playing in 3-4-3 formation with Oberlin, Wolfswinkel and Steffen as forwards. Offensive midfielder Mohamed Elyounoussi (7/1) is injured, same as veteran goalkeeper Germano Vailati who anyway didn’t perform much lately. Midfielder Omar Gaber (1/0) is also out.
Benfica, on the other side, took a convincing and professional victory last time out, when the team welcomed Ferreira on Saturday evening celebrating the three pointer with a 2:0 result. It was a completely deserved victory for them, as the side dominated and controlled the ball for whole ninety minutes. Cervi opened the scoreline in 20th minute, while Jonas sealed the victory with the second goal in 61st minute.
They already had setbacks in league losing to Boavista and a draw to Rio Ave, so the side has five poins less than first placed Porto, sitting at third position for the moment. Benfica didn’t look that poor in first round against CSKA Moscow, on contrary, but since they suffered defeat in that one, the Portuguese side surely is desperate to change the things around and come from this match with all three points.
Guests should be playing in 4-4-2 formation with Jonas and Seferovic as forwards. Central defender Jardel (4/0) is still injured, while midfielder Eduardo Salvio and central back Lisandro Lopez remain doubtful.
—FC Basel 1893 have conceded at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches.
Benfica is a slight favorite in my eyes for this one, however they already showed that they aren’t to be trusted completely this season, especially not on the road. Basel is desperate to revert the things around and surely will be trying to attack here as well.