Football

Roger Federer backs Basel to beat Chelsea in Europa League

Federer in a Basel shirt. (©GettyImages)
Federer in a Basel shirt. (©GettyImages).

Roger Federer is predicting FC Basel to overcome Chelsea and secure a place in the final of the Europa League, and the 17-time Grand Slam winner will be at St. Jakob Park on Thursday to watch his home town club face the Blues.

Basel dispatched of Tottenham in the last eight of the competition, triumphing in a tense penalty shootout, to set up a semi-final clash with Chelsea, who remain favourites to follow up last season's Champions League success with a win in Europe's second-tier tournament.

Chelsea travel to Switzerland for the first-leg of their tie with Basel knowing they are expected to progress, but Federer is backing his side to upset the Blues, just as they did to Spurs this term and Manchester United last year.

"We are looking forward like little kids to this game," Federer told Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung

"In the end it will be 2-1 for FC Basel and all will have experienced an unforgettable evening."

Fernando Torres is likely to start for Chelsea against the Swiss champions given his fine spell of goalscoring form during the competition, while the Blues could also welcome back defensive duo Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill to competitive action.

Torres, meanwhile, is determined to claim the Europa League this season, and ensure Chelsea don't end the campaign empty handed.

"We have a young squad, we need to learn winning ways and this is a very good way," he told a pre-match press conference.

"Now we're in the semi-finals everyone can see we want to win and the team I think is happy.

"The competition is helping the team a lot because it is giving us a lot of satisfaction - not like in the Premier League this season, and we lost the semi-final of the FA Cup, so we were also close.

"But the Europa League is keeping us in a good mood and thinking it could be a good season."

Topics:
Europa League
Football
Chelsea

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