21st Feb 2012 | Football
Basel have become the first Swiss team to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League and are priced up at 11/2 (Boylesports) to upset mighty Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening. The Germans impressed in the group stages, but at best odds of 8/13 (PaddyPower) to establish a first leg lead, I think we need to look elsewhere.
The hosts most certainly have their work cut out for them - they conceded more goals in getting here than any of the other sides to make the last 16. But the good news for boss Heiko Vogel is that the Swiss are well capable of causing problems down the other end of the park. The primary attacking threat comes from Alexander Frei; with 5 Champions League goals already this campaign, he only trails Lionel Messi (7) and Bayern’s Mario Gomez (6).
With the Germans strongly fancied here, Gomez is a best price 11/10 (WilliamHill) in the anytime goalscorer market. I would therefore favour Frei for value at 3/1 with SkyBet. The 32-year-old tormented Manchester United earlier in the season and was a major reason why the English champions were eliminated. He scored twice in the 3-3 draw at Old Trafford before grabbing another one in the 2-1 victory over Fergie’s boys at St Jakob Park.
Alexander Frei, not to be confused with his team-mate Fabian, is also the all-time leading scorer for the Swiss national team with an impressive 42 goals in 84 matches. He enjoyed a successful spell with Borussia Dortmund a few years ago for whom he again averaged nearly a goal every other game. He will surely relish the chance to upset Bundesliga opposition again in what is a huge game for Basel.