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Liverpool braced for another memorable European night against Basel

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Ten years ago this week Liverpool faced a similar predicament to the one they face at Anfield tonight.

Thanks to Florent Sinama Pongolle, Neil Mellor and Steven Gerrard a two-goal deficit was overturned during a historic night at Anfield. Rivaldo and Olympiacos were sent packing and Rafael Benitez and his Redmen marched on to Istanbul, to gloriously lift for the fifth time the most glamorous club trophy in world football.

Aa Paulo Sousa's Basel head for Anfield it is left to Brendan Rogers' Red Army to emerge victorious against the Swiss champions and clinch their place in the knockout stages.

Liverpool have never defeated Basel in European Competition. The Reds lost their away encounter at St. Jakob-Park on October 1. However, the Reds have won six out of their 11 games against Swiss opposition and they have never been defeated by a Swiss side at Anfield.

Brendan Rogers believes it is beneficial that his team seek inspiration from the class of 2005 but he has called on the current band to make their own mark.

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Rodgers looking forward to special night

Speaking to liverpoolfc.tv, Rogers said: "This is a competition that has a great history here for Liverpool and the Olympiacos game was a part of it.

"It's an opportunity for the players now to qualify and make sure they write themselves into folklore by winning the game and ensuring they get into the next round, because that's the objective.

"We've shown over the last few weeks that the group is starting to come together again after a disappointing spell. We certainly haven't had the consistency this season. But slowly, game-by-game, I can see the differences in the team - the focus and the concentration.

"What we have in the squad is quality. We know it's going to be a tough game for us, but certainly playing at home here will help. We've seen on many occasions what the crowd can do here for the team.

"We can come together tomorrow night, hopefully get the victory, qualify for the next round and look to use it to give confidence in the rest of our games.

"We go into the game in good condition physically and mentally. We know what the job is. It's going to be a tough game. But Basel come here on the back of losing their away games in the group. So I'm sure they understand it's going to be a tough game for them."

Rodgers: We can't rely on Gerrard

Steven Gerrard was the hero against Olympiacos and although Rogers would welcome a repeat from his skipper he has called on members of the first team to emulate Gerrard's achievements.

"We can't rely solely on Steven, this has to be a team performance," insisted Rodgers. "We need other players to step up to the mark and take on responsibility and become the catalyst for the team and not just solely place it on his shoulders.

"There are very few world-class players around, so when you are that world-class talent, and you're in a team, that responsibility falls even more so on you.

"But for us, it's never been about that - it's been about the collective. For us to get the result tomorrow night, we need the whole team to be functioning well and producing a good level of performance."

Steven Gerrard is set to return to the starting eleven. Mario Balotelli is still recovering from a groin strain whilst Fabio Borini is likely to start on the bench. Mamadou Sakho trained with the squad on Monday night after a long injury lay off but is unlikely to feature in tonight's blockbuster.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Simon Mignolet
Liverpool
Raheem Sterling
Football
Steven Gerrard
Brendan Rodgers

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