(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
Urs Fischer will be missing three of his defenders for this important fixture against Os Belenenses. Nasar Aliji is not eligible to play. Both Adama Trarore and Daniel Hoegh are still recovering from injury and will be able to start training with their team mates in the next few day. The most recent player to suffer injury is Philipp Degen, who is encountering problems with his shoulder and will need to undergo surgery, resulting in a long recovery period. Urs Fischer commented: “Most likely he will be out of the game until the end of the year.”
Jean-Paul Boëtius, Ivan Ivanov and Veljko Simic are all still recovering from injury. FCB goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik is the player who most recently suffered injury. “He suffered a knock to the knee when we played against FC Sion. The liquid was removed but playing on Thursday would be too much of a risk.” Noted Fischer. “We have full trust in Germano Vailati and Mirko Salvi.” Currently it is uncertain if Vaclik will play against BSC Young Boys on Sunday.
Safari and Samuel are back
Behrang Safari will be able to play on Thursday, as well as Michael Lang; both trained defenders. Walter Samuel has recovered from his injury to his Achilles Tendon and will be able to play against Belenenses. Manuel Akanji played an impressive fixture against FC Sion last week, meaning that he has deserved a place in FCB´s Europa League team. Coach Fischer will therefore have sufficient choice regarding his central defense.
FC Basel 1893 are expecting a very defensive opponent: “Belenenses plays compact and well organized football. The Portuguese are very good at switching from defensive to offensive play. They have a few fast paced wingers who will be waiting to counter attack. This is similar to our opponents in the Swiss league”, stated Birkir Bjarnason. “Our opponents are very defensive and wait for the right moment to counter attack. We are prepared”.
„We need to present ourselves as the favorites“
With a victory against Belenenses FCB could be one step closer to the last 16 stage of the Europa League. FCB will not yet qualify with a win: “A victory will bring us very close to the next round but this is not our main concern. I don´t believe that my team will be more motivated because of our chances of qualifying. We always want to win and push ourselves to our maximum”, stated Fischer.
After the fixture on Thursday night, we will be able to make our impressions of all three opponents and the table will give us an indication of where FCB stand. Currently FC Basel are placed in a favorable position, 5 points ahead of the 3rd placed team. On Thursday FCB will be taking a big step towards the next stage of the competition. Urs Fisher commented: “We need to present ourselves as the favorites and act accordingly.