Red Light spells danger was a hit for Billy Ocean back in 1977, and it springs to mind when thinking of Liverpool’s Champions League group stage match with FC Basel tonight. The symmetry between Anfield’s red shirts and Ocean’s red lights is to me a clear parallel, with the Merseyside outfit only able to progress with a win.
The reds are in danger. With only one win from five games – which came against Ludogrets, with whom they sit on four points at the bottom of Group B – there is no permutation, no loophole, or technicality that can see them move into round two.
Three points is the only way.
Their poor European form sees them joint-bottom of the group with Ludogrets, who despite their equal points tally (four), cannot qualify. Real Madrid have won all five of their games and sit on an unassailable throne of 15 points, leaving only the Basel to dump Liverpool out.
The situation is far less bleak for the Swiss outfit, who are hoisted by the momentum of a stunning domestic season, where they have an 8-point cushion over their nearest rivals. Their European form has been slightly less impressive, but with a two-point gap between themselves and Liverpool, they can afford to park the bus and play out for a goalless draw, if the feeling takes them.
Hopefully the game is more exciting than that, with the goal-heavy combination of Gashi and Streller starting.