(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
After half of the UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures have been played, both Arsenal FC and Paris Saint-Germain were able to secure the top end of the table for themselves, distancing themselves from FCB and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad. Both the French and the English have been rewarded seven points and the Swiss and Bulgarians only one point. It looks like its going to be a battle between the latter teams, to see who will be represented in Europe in 2017. If Basel or Ludogorets lose again, their chances of qualifying for the next round will be eliminated. Is the fixture against PSG therefore less important than the fixture in Sofia? Urs Fischer commented:” It would be dangerous to think like that. We play to win. On Tuesday that is what we will be aiming for. You never know, Ludogorets may collect points against Arsenal FC.”
The 1st Leg:
FC Basel´s attitude and drive was excellent in Paris, showing their strongest performance of this Champions League campaign so far. FCB created several chances and defended well for most of the fixture, but suffered their biggest defeat of the season. “We performed well. Of course we didn’t look that strong whilst we conceded the 3 goals and we need to work on that. Luck wasn’t on our side on the night, especially as we hit the woodwork on three occasions. We need to be more efficient and make more out of our chances, then we will achieve a better result as we did in Paris”. Stated Urs Fischer. FCB striker Seydou Doumbia had the following to say about the fixture at Parc des Princes: “It was a difficult game. PSG played well on the counter attack. We failed to use our chances and were punished for our lack of efficiency.”
The fact that Paris Saint-Germain will be visiting St. Jakob-Park is a little bit special, as it will be the first time in club history that a current French champion will play FCB in Basel. The list of Champions will thereby be extended; So far FCB faced Valencia CF, Juventus FC (both in the season 2002/2003), FC Bayern München (2010/2011) and Manchester United FC at St. Jakob-Park. These teams were all champions of the top four footballing nations. According to the latest UEFA country rankings, the French league is currently in fifth place.
There are some question marks when contemplating Urs Fischers lineup for Tuesday´s big match against Paris Saint-Germain. Michael Lang, who suffered an injury against Grasshoppers Club Zurich on Saturday, as well as Alexander Fransson, who caught the flu may not be ready for the CL fixture. The decision will be made on the day of the match. Both Manuel Akanji and Kevin Bua will not be granted any Champions League minutes as they do not qualify to play in this competition.