Europa League: Basel host Red Bull Salzburg in last-16 first leg clash
Last Updated: 12/03/14 5:22pm
Roger Schmidt: Takes his Red Bull Salzburg side to Basel
Red Bull Salzburg boss Roger Schmidt has called on his side to summon more of their Amsterdam heroics when they travel to Basel for their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday.
Salzburg go into the first leg as the form side of the continent with a record of 16 straight wins in all competitions stretching back to November and a 25-point lead at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga.
The highlight of that streak, though, was a 6-1 aggregate humiliation of mighty Ajax in the previous round - including a 3-0 win in the first leg in Amsterdam last month.
Schmidt, who once again will rely on the exploits of striker Jonathan Soriano who has netted 36 goals in all competitions already this season, said: "This is so far our most important game of the season.
"We must pull our weight and play as we did in our two games against Ajax, and if we do that we are capable of getting a good result."
Basle, who came through the previous round with a 3-0 aggregate win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, are also in good domestic form and have a five-point advantage at the top of the Swiss Super League.
However, despite heading into Thursday's game on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, they have seen their domestic lead cut after successive draws against Thun and St Gallen.
Basle's hopes are also hit by the possible absence of striker and captain Marco Streller, who is struggling with a calf injury, while Endogan Adili and Ivan Ivanov both definitely miss out with knee complaints.
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