Manchester United threw away a two-goal lead against Basel earlier in the group but can afford no such mistakes in this crucial match.
Group C is incredibly tight, with just a point between Benfica at the top and these two in second and third. Champions League newcomers Otelul Galati have lost every game and so it looks as though Benfica should go through as group winners, effectively making this match a second place play-off.
The away side only need a draw and given they are unbeaten in eight Champions League away matches, winning six, they should qualify. Sir Alex Ferguson does not send his sides out with a draw in mind, however, and so United’s odds of 8/13 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to win are worth considering. In the Premier League they have won five of their seven fixtures away from Old Trafford and with a home fixture against Wolves to follow this one, they can field a full strength side with little concern about the next game.
Even so, Basel have proved themselves a competent outfit and, with a last 16 spot at stake they will be highly motivated. They top their domestic league and the only games they have failed to win in the last 10 have been against group-topping Benfica. They have scored at home in every game in the Swiss Super League and with their opponents far from secure at the back, both teams to score looks a reasonable shout at 5/6 (Stan James – £150 free betting).
The Swiss need to win but are rated as outsiders at 6/1 (Stan James). In Alexander Frei they have a dangerous forward with four goals from four matches in the competition, including two against Wednesday’s opponents. He looks a reasonable bet at 10/3 (William Hill) to score at any time but overall we expect it to be in vain and the visitors to progress.