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03.11.2008 19:41

Basel keen to avoid a repeat

Anna Segura

Basel is determined to avoid a repeat of the thrashing it received a fortnight ago from Barça. Manager Christian Gross says his team will have to “close down spaces and get up close with Barça” in order not to lose the game.

Basel arrived in Barcelona this Monday lunchtime. The team spent the afternoon at their hotel before going to the Camp Nou at 7 pm for their final training session before Tuesday’s game with Barça.

“We knew the games would be hard”

03-11-08_WEB_BASILEA_04.jpgAt his pre-match press conference Christian Gross admitted that “we knew the games would be hard” even before the first match which ended 0-5 to the Catalans.

“We’ll have to close down spaces and get up close with Barça to avoid the mistakes we made last time,” he said. “All of us need to defend, stay calm on the ball and help each other to produce a great game.”

Abraham out

03-11-08_WEB_IVAN_ERGIC_Y_CHRISTIAN_GROSS_01.jpgThe Basel manager announced a last minute withdrawal as David Abraham is out through illness. The Argentine defender scored the Swiss team’s only goal so far in the Champions League.

Defeat leaves its mark

Midfielder Ivan Ergic also spoke at the press conference, and admitted that defeats like the one a fortnight ago “leave their mark”. However, he said that the Basel players will be “giving it our all” in Tuesday’s game.

On the pitch

03-11-08_WEB_BASILEA_02.jpgThe Basel squad stepped out onto the Camp Nou pitch for the first time at 8 pm for a training session. They will be looking to get a result at a ground which has historically not favoured Swiss teams .

Leaders like Barça

Just like Barça, Basel come into the game as domestic League leaders having, again like Barça, moved into top spot on their own this weekend. Last Thursday Gross’s men beat Sion 3-0, and since then have been getting ready for their clash with the Catalans.

The Champions League, however, is a different kettle of fish. Here Barça lead group C with nine points while Basel is bottom without a single point to their name.
Basel keen to avoid a repeat
Dan Tudor to be the referee
The Romanian referee Dan Alexandru Tudor will take charge of this Tuesday’s game between Barça and Basel. It will be Tudor’s first game featuring Barcelona.

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