This could, we’ll be told, become ‘one of the great Anfield European nights’, but in order for that to happen Liverpool are going to have to remember what got them here in the first place.
Fast attacking, dynamism and the will and power to simply outscore the opposition was what dragged the Reds into title contention last season, but right now all of that looks beyond them.
From 53 goals in 19 home Premier League matches last season now comes just seven in eight domestic Anfield fixtures. This is the Champions League, of course, but the Reds have only scored against Ludogorets in this competition.
Basel visit Merseyside exactly 10 years and a day since Steven Gerrard’s stunner against Olympiakos ignited Liverpool’s glorious 2004/05 run to Istanbul glory, but the fact that Gerrard is still arguably the Reds’ greatest goal threat a decade on tells its own story.
After being rested for another disappointing home performance against Sunderland at the weekend, Gerrard is likely to be deployed as one of the main attacking forces in the team alongside Raheem Sterling, Rickie Lambert and one of Philippe Coutinho or Adam Lallana. Basel – whose only defeat in their last nine was to Real Madrid – are hardly likely to be quaking in their boots.
They beat Liverpool in Switzerland on Matchday 2, but only need a draw here to make it through to the group stages for the third time in their history. It is a draw that they are more than capable of getting.
However, they might find that they are better off trying to win the game, as sitting back and defending against a Liverpool side struggling to score goals will only play into the Reds’ hands, sort of.
It will remove the threat of them conceding and put all of the emphasis on them trying to get the goal they need, as despite all of the recent negativity they have only conceded three in their last five at Anfield.
If you’re not following where we’re going with this, now is the time to say that instead of an Olympiakos-type goalfest, this instead could be a nervy win which Liverpool chisel out.
Under 2.5 goals in the game at 2.02 looks the first port of call, whilst 0-0 at half-time also appeals at 3.20
Liverpool winning by exactly one goal could also bear fruit at 3.85, because quite frankly they don’t really look like scoring many more than that at the moment.
But who will get that goal?
Gerrard surely has to stop writing his own scripts at some point, and whilst Lambert lacks the requisite movement to make him a danger, it could be worth a punt on Lallana popping up with a crucial intervention at 4.00 any time and 9.00 for the first goal if he starts.
For an outside punt, though, defender Martin Skrtel is due a strike and will be a threat from set-pieces at 9.50 any time and 23.00 first.
Liverpool 1 Basel 0 – 8.00
Under 2.5 goals – 2.02
0-0 at half-time – 3.20
HT-FT Draw/Liverpool – 4.80