Dragovic confident Basel can beat Chelsea

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Aleksandar Dragovic believes Basel are more than capable of overcoming the challenge of Chelsea and progressing to the Europa League final.

The Austrian centre-half has been almost ever-present in the Swiss champions’ rearguard this year and is expected to start again on Thursday night.

He said earlier this week: “With a bit of luck in the game we can compete against any team.”

Basel have enjoyed success against English opposition in recent seasons – beating Manchester United in last season’s Champions League, as well as knocking Spurs out of the Europe League earlier this month.

Despite this, the 22-year-old still believes his side go into the match as underdogs.

“It is very David versus Goliath, as [with] the last three games,” he told reporters. “Nevertheless we want to give everything and try everything to get into the final.”

When asked, Dragovic heaped particular praise on opposite number David Luiz, as well as striker Fernando Torres – who is expected to lead the line for the Londoners at St Jakob Park.

“There are few players like David Luiz, in my opinion one of the best defenders. Fernando Torres, an excellent striker who is very fast,” he said.

The Vienna-born defender credits Basel’s team spirit as the reason for them progressing this far in the competition, suggesting they are unique.

“We have grown together into a single unit, and that sets us apart,” he claimed.

Dragovic was also convinced that it is not just Basel fans who want to see them beat Chelsea, but the whole of the country.

“The whole town is talking about the game,” he said. “You can feel that the whole region of Basel, and even the whole of Switzerland is behind us.”

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