Basel look for crucial point against Schalke

Basle set off for Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday with the aim of continuing their European adventure by getting the point they need against Schalke to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

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Basle went close to becoming the first Swiss club to reach a major European final last April when they were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

They have built on that run by beating the Blues twice in their Champions League group this campaign, and they are now just a point away from joining Chelsea in the last-16, at the expense of their hosts.

"We've prepared well, it's all in our own hands and we'll try to do the best we can," said coach Hakan Yakin to Switzerland's Blick newspaper.

"We're going to need to play a great game, we'll need a bit of luck and we'll need the great fans who are going to get behind us."

Basle lead the Royal Blues going into the final group game and can therefore finish second with a draw, although a win could see them move above leaders Chelsea.

"It's great to have this highlight - it's such a big game," continued Yakin. "A point would do it, but the team has got to think about winning."

Defeat is not something Schalke are contemplating with much of their season riding on Wednesday night's match at the Arena AufSchalke.

Defeat in the Bundesliga at the weekend, right off the back of a 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim in the DFB-Pokal, means coach Jens Keller, as well as his team, are under a great deal of pressure.

"We can hardly wait for this game," said goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, who recently replaced Timo Hildebrand in the Schalke goal and will be hoping to keep his place on Wednesday.

"We've got some making up to do to our fans after the Hoffenheim defeat and now's the time to show a reaction.

"We've played some of our best games when we've been under pressure and that's what we are planning again. We can't wait."

Fahrmann is confident that his team will rise to the occasion in the same way they did on the final day of last season, when a win in Freiburg snatched them Germany's fourth berth in the Champions League.

"I'm encouraged because of the quality we've got," he said on his club's website. "We know what we can do, and when we all play the way we can, then we'll win.

"We're going to show everybody how much we want to win this game."

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