Arsenal opened their Champions League campaign with an impressive, albeit fortunate point earner at Paris Saint-Germain. Now the Gunners know they will need to pick up three points in this home fixture against FC Basel on Wednesday night, but it won’t be easy. Below we’ve briefly profiled the visitors, giving you a pocket guide to what to expect.
Basel are a dominant force in Switzerland – they’ve won the league 10 times in the last 12 seasons, and they are certainly no pushovers in Europe. They love to score and managed 88 league goals in 36 games last season, whilst they started this season with 27 goals in their first 9 league games. However the Swiss league is very different to the Champions League.
How They Made It Into The Champions League
FC Basel won the league by 14 points last season ensuring automatic qualification to the Champions League group stage. They won 26, drew 5 and lost 5 to see them become clear winners ahead of their closest rivals Young Boys in 2nd place.
Basel will be brimming with confidence having made the perfect start to their season (winning 9 from 9 domestically), but having picked up just a point at home to Ludogrets in the Champions League, Basel know they cannot really afford to walk away from the Emirates empty handed. Basel’s league form is without fault, but it must be considered that they have not faced a team near Arsenal’s quality. One must not forget though that Basel are regulars in Europe and they have beaten the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in their time, Arsenal cannot afford to take them lightly.
Key Man – Seydou Doumbia
Doumbia has played everywhere in Europe, and now in his prime he has ended up in Switzerland – probably not how envisaged his career. Currently on loan from Roma, the 28-year-old has bagged six goals in eight games this season. As an Ivory Coast international, Doumbia has played against some of the best in the world and he’ll be confident up against Arsenal’s defence. He’s unpredictable at times and doesn’t like to do things the conventional way so that should keep Kostafi on their toes. He may be thriving in Switzerland – but a player of Doumbia’s ilk will want to be proving himself on the bigger stage to perhaps earn a move to a bigger club at he enters the final years of his career. There’s no bigger stage than The Emirates for him to make a name for himself, I’m sure the Ivorian will be up for it and Arsenal need to keep him quiet if they are to get all three points.